May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Did you know that about 8.5% of children suffer from speech and language disorders? So May is the perfect time for parents to learn how to recognize the early signs of speech and language disorders.
To support the month, the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) has launched a TV, radio, print and digital media campaign to increase the awareness of communication disorders called Identify the Signs.
It’s a fact, unlike many disabilities, some speech, language, and hearing disorders can be reversible and even preventable with early intervention and treatment. The biggest barrier to success that I have seen as an SLP are attributed to delays in assessment and treatment. I have noticed that many parents, teachers and even some pediatricians do not recognize the early signs of speech and language disorders. I am not the only one who has observed this. A recent poll of speech-language pathologists and audiologists by ASHA reported significant parental delays in getting help for children with communication difficulties. I have also noticed the repercussions of waiting too long to seek treatment, even from very educated, loving and attentive parents. Many people falsely think, or maybe hope, that their kids will outgrow it.
From my 20 years of experience, I can tell you that parents find the most success in the shortest amount of time with early intervention. And because successful outcomes are achieved more quickly, it is often less expensive to act early. In other words, it pays to pay attention to the early signs.
The Kidmunication Point
Please go to Indentifythesigns.org and familiarize yourself with the early signs of speech and language disorders, so that you can recognize the signs needed to help your child. And if you see any of the signs, seek a speech and language assessment because early intervention can help prevent a child from falling behind academically and socially during their key developmental years.