Unfortunately, many of us take our ability to be able to communicate for granted; that’s why throughout the entire month of May, Canadians are using the hashtag #communicateawareness on various social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to promote Speech and Hearing Awareness Month.
An estimated 1 in 6 Canadians have a communication disorder, which can include speech, language, hearing and auditory impediments, as well as balance and even swallowing disorders. Our speech controls how way say different sounds and words, while or language includes the words we use to share ideas, thoughts, opinions, etc. For anyone with a speech or hearing impediment, they may be unable hear words clearly, stutter, have a hoarse or raspy sounding voice, or have difficulty understanding, speaking, reading, and even writing. These kinds of disorders can have a major and oftentimes negative impact on one’s physical wellbeing, as well as emotional, social, vocational and even financial wellbeing – especially in children, as the child’s first 5 years are the most crucial for development. Which is why the earlier a speech or hearing disorder is identified, the better the chances are for improvement. If the disorder is permanent, early detection can also improve a child’s ability to be able to cope with this type of disorder. Additonally, seniors can also develop speech and hearing disorders. You can ready more about early detection here. https://speechandhearing.ca/early-identification-campaign/
If you or someone you know has a speech-language disorder, a speech-language pathologist and/or audiologist can help to identify these disorders by helping manage speech, language, voice, swallowing, and feeding disorders, as well as work with individuals who suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus, and balance disorders. In some cases you may only need to see one type of specialist, while others may need to see both a speech-language pathologist and audiologist for the best care.
When it comes to getting involved in 2018’s Speech and Hearing Awareness Month, there is lots you can do to spread the word. Before posting on social media, think of the message you want to communicate. What’s most important to you? Are you a health professional looking to invite others to join the conversation? Or are you someone who suffers or knows someone who suffers from a speech or language impediment? And, more importantly, what has been your experience? One of the main focuses of this year’s campaign is to not only communicate awareness, but make others aware that there are many different ways to communicate – whether it’s through social media, written word, photographs, or even sign language.