Encompass Blog

May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

May 6, 2019  |  Child Development, Pediatric Therapy  |  By Lindsey Cooper, MA, CCC-SLP

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of professionals like Speech-Language Pathologists in providing life-altering treatment.

For 2019, the BHSM theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan.” The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has many resources to help you celebrate all month long.

Here are some facts about communications disorders from ASHA:

  • 1 in 4 parents have had concerns about their child’s ability to communicate
  • 95% of parents agree that speech, language, and hearing milestones are some of the most important developmental milestones
  • More than a quarter (27%) of concerned parents did not seek help for their child, most commonly because they didn’t know where to go for help
  • Although most parents are confident that they know the signs of communication disorders, just 23% are able to correctly identify a solid majority (75% or more) of the provided signs of communication disorders, and only 5% are able to correctly identify all the provided signs of communication disorders
  • Of parents who sought treatment, 8 in 10 (81%) said that their child showed a “great deal” or “a good amount” of improvement

Here are some of the warning signs of communication disorders from ASHA:

Signs of a language disorder:picture of a question mark

  • Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)
  • Does not babble (4-7 months)
  • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months)
  • Does not understand what others say (7 months-2 years)
  • Says only a few words (12-18 months)
  • Words are not easily understood (18 months-2 years)
  • Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years)
  • Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2-3 years)

Signs of a speech disorder:picture of a mouth

  • Says p, b, m, h, and incorrectly in words (1-2 years)
  • Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2-3 years)
  • Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2-3 years)
  • Repeats first sounds of words: “b-b-b-ball” for “ball”
  • Speech breaks while trying to say a word: “——boy” for “boy”
  • Stretches sounds out: “ffffff-farm” for “farm”
  • Shows frustration when trying to get words out

Signs of hearing loss:picture of an ear

  • Shows a lack of attention to sounds (birth-1 year)
  • Does not respond when you call his/her name (7 months-1 year)
  • Does not follow simple directions (1-2 years)
  • Shows delays in speech and language development (birth-3 years)
  • Pulls or scratches at his/her ears
  • Has difficulty achieving academically, especially in reading and math
  • Is socially isolated and unhappy at school

If you have questions or concerns about any of the information in this article, contact us today at 425.888.3347. We are happy to talk with you to provide more information, recommend services, or just provide a listening ear!

Happy Better Hearing & Speech Month from Encompass! Click here to download a coloring page to help you celebrate BHSM.

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