Celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month This May!

May is designated by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as Better Hearing &Speech Month as a way to raise awareness about communication disorders and role of ASHA members in providing life-altering treatment. Hearing loss affects about 20 percent of adults in the United States, or 48 million. This year, ASHA has made the theme “Early Intervention Counts.” This is important because good is critical for the development of speech, language, communication skills, and learning. The earlier that hearing loss occurs in a child’s life, the more serious is the effect on the child’s development. Similarly, the earlier the hearing loss is identified and intervention begun, the more likely it is that the delays in speech and language development will be diminished, according to ASHA.

It is estimated that about 2-3 of every 1,000 children are hard of hearing or deaf and that 30 school children per 1,000 have a hearing loss. The earlier we can do something about it, whether it be with hearing aids or aural rehabilitation services, the better the chance the child will have for success both in school and socially. The earlier children with hearing loss start getting hearing services, the more likely they are to reach their full potential.

Early intervention counts with adults, too. Catching and treating hearing loss early can slow, or stop, its progression. Adults who do not do anything about hearing loss symptoms could end up dealing with impaired memory, the inability to learn new tasks, reduced alertness, compromised personal safety, irritability, anger, fatigue, stress, depression, and diminished overall health.

If you suspect you or your child is having an issue with hearing loss or if you are feeling uncertain about your ability to hear, talk to your doctor or an experienced audiologist. Some hearing problems can be treated and cured if they’re caught early. Wouldn’t you want to give your child the best possible support for developing language and communication?

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