May is Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM), raising awareness about communication disorders and celebrating the work of Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs). There are at least 46 million people in the US living with a hearing or other communication disorder that affects how they engage with their environments.
What Is a Communication Disorder?
According to the America Speech-Language-Hearing Association, a communication disorder is “is an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems.” Communication disorders range from mild to severe and can be present at birth or acquired later in life. Once a communication disorder is diagnosed, intervention can begin.
Intervention and treatment play a critical role in helping individuals avoid the isolation that can accompany living with a speech or hearing disorder. And when treatment alone is insufficient in increasing the quality of life for a person living with a communication disorder, there are aids and other devices that they can benefit from.
What Is a Speech Language Pathologist?
Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) play a significant role in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of communication disorders. SLPs can work with a variety of patient types or specialize in a particular disorder or patient population. They can be found in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, and community centers.
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Looking for more ideas on how to get involved in Better Hearing & Speech Month? Or, think that a career in Speech pathology is right for you? Pioneer Health is here to help.