Literacy is essential to success in our society. The ability to read and write is highly valued and important for social and economic advancement. Literacy in the United States is the ability to read, write and speak English at levels of proficiency necessary to successfully function on the job and in society.
Language problems are a consequence of both reading and writing problems in children and adolescents. Individuals with reading and writing problems may experience difficulties using language strategically to communicate.
Studies have shown that children with language impairments such as dyslexia are four to five times more likely to have difficulties reading than normally developing children.
Speech-language pathologists play an important role in the prevention of literacy problems; their goal is to promote opportunities for success in spoken and written language for children with and without communication disorders.
For more information on literacy or for a referral to an ASHA-certified speech language speech pathologist, consumers may call ASHA' s HELPLINE at 1-800-638-TALK (8255)
Suspect a Learning Disability? Early Intervention is Important
Learning disabilities are a group of disorders caused by central nervous system dysfunction. These disorders involve difficulty in developing and using speaking, reading, writing, and reasoning skills- skills that are necessary for academic success. A learning disability does not suddenly appear at ages 8,9, or 10 but is usually a continuation of specific language problems from childhood even though it may not be identified until a child is older. Although skills may improve over time with treatment and training, learning disabilities are considered a lifelong problem. Parents concerned about their child's development should contact a certified speech-language pathologist who can perform an evaluation and suggest methods of treatment.
For additional information on learning disabilities or for referrals to certified professionals, consumers may call ASHA's HELPLINE at1-800-638-TALK (8255)
- Communication disorders affect approximately 46 million Americans. Of these, 28 million have a hearing loss, 14 million have a speech or language disorder, and 4 million have a balance disorder, or suffer from smell and taste disorders.
- Audiologists are hearing health care professionals who specialize in preventing, identifying and assessing hearing disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.
- Speech-language pathologists are the professionals who identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.
- ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 120,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech, language, and hearing scientists.