May is better hearing and speech month

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Sounds Like Success…

Children learn to speak by listening, and how well they communicate has big consequences on their general happiness, progress at school and later outcomes in life. That’s why it’s so important to get help for children who aren’t hearing well, or struggle with learning to talk.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, a good reminder for parents to have their children tested if they suspect a problem with hearing or speech.

Helen Keller once noted that of all her impairments, she was perhaps troubled most by her lack of speech and hearing. She elaborated that while blindness separated her from things, her lack of speech and hearing separated her from people — the human connection of communication.

About 43 million U.S. people have a speech, voice, language or hearing impairment, and almost 36 million have hearing loss. About 10 percent of children have moderate to severe communication impairments, making them four to five times more likely than other kids to have other language-learning disabilities such as reading problems.

Hearing loss affects children in multiple ways. Speech and language skills develop more slowly and academic achievement can be reduced. These problems often lead to social isolation and poor self-esteem. But early intervention can help.

In recognition of Better Speech and Hearing Month, the national advocacy group is encouraging parents not to wait to seek services if they suspect a problem such as slow development of vocabulary or impaired hearing.

Casa Alegre Early Intervention is a community based program of the Presbyterian Socorro General Hospital. This not-for-profit agency has served Socorro County continually since 1998 with over 100 years combined experience providing early intervention services from birth to age three. The program provides services to maximize development of children, providing a strong foundation to ensure future academic success. Services are provided at no cost to the families of Socorro County in conjunction with the New Mexico Department of Health Family Infant Toddler Program. If you know of a child who may need services, please call Kent Howell at 575-835-8367 for a screening, at your convenience, in the comfort of your home.

Speech therapy can improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding, swallowing or hearing. Speech therapy services are available at Presbyterian Socorro General Hospital in out-patient rehabilitation, in-patient, home health and hospice, meeting the needs of all age groups.