bhsmA new, nationwide effort to educate the public about communication disorders was recently launched by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Called Identify the Signs, this campaign specifically aims to help people recognize the early warning signs of communication disorders. This topic couldn’t be timelier—or more important. Click here to learn how to identify the signs in infants, children and adults.

An estimated 40 million Americans have trouble speaking or hearing due to a communication disorder. Millions more family members and friends are also impacted. Here in the Snoqualmie Valley, there are parents reading this whose children are struggling to speak or understand language; spouses living with partners whose hearing is deteriorating; and co-workers, neighbors and others who see someone who needs help but don’t know what to do.

With years of experience working in the field of communication disorders, Encompass has seen the debilitating effects that these issues can have when left unaddressed. Too often, people wrestle with these challenges for years because they fail to receive proper, timely treatment. Early detection of speech, language, and hearing issues is absolutely critical to improving academic, social, and career outcomes—and improving one’s quality of life at any age.

For people with communication disorders, those closest to them are often their biggest asset. Unfortunately, many parents and caregivers are unable to identify the warning signs or dismiss them too readily. A recent poll of speech-language pathologists and audiologists by ASHA reported significant parental delays in getting help for children with communication difficulties. This is just one example of the missed opportunities that commonly occur with communication disorders.

Every day, I see in my work that untreated communication disorders often lead to larger academic, social, and developmental issues. Early diagnosis is the most powerful way to reduce or even reverse their impact and can give your loved ones the opportunity to lead the fullest lives possible.

speechEncompass offers many forms of pediatric therapy including speech and language therapy. Specialties include language development, fluency (stuttering) and apraxia. The best way to know if our services are right for your child is to call 425.888.3347 to speak with one of our therapists. This confidential conversation will result in recommended next steps, which may include coming in for an evaluation at the Encompass Downtown North Bend clinic.

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