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Celebrating Better Hearing and Speech Month

By Dr. Brenda Gorman, CCC-SLP, Lingua Health Advisory Clinical Director and Marquette University Assistant Professor, College of Health Sciences Speech Pathology and Audiology

Brenda K. Gorman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Dr. Brenda Gorman

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) when we raise awareness about communication disorders and the services that speech-language pathologists and audiologists have to offer.

When I entered into this field, most people I talked to didn’t really know what speech-language pathology was.  People would ask, “So you fix kids’ /r/?” or “You teach people how to give speeches?”

Since then, several of my family members have needed to seek SLP services for issues ranging from speech-language concerns, to swallowing, to voice.  Coincidentally, my mother even started working as a secretary for a communication sciences and disorders program, where she learned all of the speech-language-hearing jargon.  Just last week, I had to take my own son in to confirm what I suspected, vocal nodules.  Yep, he is a screamer, particularly when he is with his older brother.  Getting a three-year-old to exercise good vocal hygiene is no easy task.  So, ironically, my family’s examples now help me illustrate what our profession is to people who ask.

Chances are that, at some point in life, everyone we know will either need or have a loved one who needs the services of a speech-language pathologist or audiologist.  The American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association (ASHA) reports that one in six Americans has a hearing, speech, or language problem which can negatively impact people’s ability to communicate at home, school, or work.

So, spread the word about our profession.  You never know how timely the information you share might be.

Also, be sure to visit ASHA’s Better Hearing and Speech Month webpage at www.asha.org/bhsm/.  Here you can enter ASHA’s BHSM logo and slogan contest, download the 2012 BHSM screensaver, read BHSM stories shared by your colleagues, and find many other resources both for professionals and the public.  Children can even enter the 2012 BHSM drawing contest to win an MP3 player!

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