Children with communication disorders frequently do not perform on grade level because they have difficulty understanding and talking, struggle with reading and writing, misunderstand social cues, show poor judgment, have trouble taking tests, and may avoid school. Is this your child?
This May, as part of Better Hearing and Speech Month, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) continues its public education efforts around the communication health of our children by providing information for parents to identify and prevent speech and language disorders.
Children with communication problems have difficulty learning to listen, speak, read, or write. Parents and teachers should refer any student who shows signs of a speech and language problem to the school-based speech-language pathologist for an evaluation immediately.
"It's crucial that children are identified and begin treatment as early as possible because summer break will only compound the consequences of a communication disorder if left untreated," ASHA President Paul R. Rao, PhD, CCC-SLP, says.
Parents should look out for the various types of speech and language disorders that affect school-age children, including:
- Speech sounddisorders(difficulty pronouncing sounds)
- Languagedisorders(difficulty understanding others and expressing themselves)
- Cognitive-communicationdisorders(difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect, and imagination)
- Stuttering(fluency) disorders(interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, or prolongations of sounds or words)
- Voicedisorders(quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, or loudness)
For more information about speech and language disorders and prevention, visit www.asha.org. To find a speech-language pathologist in your local area, go to ProSearch at www.asha.org/findpro/.
About Speech-Language Pathologists
Speech-language pathologists work with diagnostic and educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for students. Services to students with speech-language disorders may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers, or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate students' speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 145,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, diagnose, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.
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