May is finally here and I’m so excited because that means it is “Better Hearing and Speech Month!” Each year, ASHA (the American Speech and Hearing Association) dedicates a whole month to raising awareness about communication disorders and the specialists (audiologists and speech-language pathologists) who provide services to those with difficulties understanding, speaking, and hearing.
I definitely recommend checking out the ASHA website for tons of great information and products for promoting BHSM! There are many items to download as well as a wealth of information about speech therapy and speech and language disorders. There are great resources for parents on prevention of communication disorders and diagnosis of communication disorders.
Here are some interesting statistics about BHSM!
For over 75 years May has been designated as Better Hearing and Speech Month — a time to raise public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the various forms of communication impairments to include those of hearing, speech, language, and voice. Communication impairments affect the most vulnerable in our society — the young, the aged, the disabled, and the poor.
- Helen Keller once noted that of all her impairments, she was perhaps troubled most by her lack of speech and hearing. She elaborated, that while blindness separated her from things, her lack of speech and hearing separated her from people — the human connection of communication.
- Speech-Language Pathology (Speech-Language Pathologists) and Audiology (Audiologists) are the professions concerned with the prevention, identification, and treatment of communication impairments. After earning a master’s degree (consisting of required coursework and practicum experiences), passing a national examination, and serving a yearlong clinical internship, these professionals are eligible for certification, in the form of the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC), from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (Both of these professions were rated among the top 50 for job satisfaction in recent Jobs Rated Almanac.)
- The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that approximately 43,000,000 people in the United States suffer from a speech, voice, language, or hearing impairment. Almost 28,000,000 suffer from a hearing loss. Approximately 10 percent of children have moderate to severe communication impairments, including speech production/articulation, stuttering, and language-learning difficulties. Children with speech and language impairments are 4 to 5 times more likely than their peers to experience other language-learning disabilities to include significant reading problems. Approximately 1,000,000 people in the United States have aphasia – a language disorder resulting from brain damage caused by a stroke.
- An estimated 28 million Americans have a hearing loss that can be treated; yet fewer than 7,000,000 use a hearing aid. You could be one of them. Now is a good time to take stock of your own hearing and seek help if you think you may have a problem.
I love my profession as a speech-language pathologist and am so fortunate to have the privilage of working with all of my clients and students and their awesome families!
Happy BHSM everyone!