May is Better Speech and Hearing month! This is a special month for us as therapists who work towards increasing awareness about communication disorders. The theme this year is “Communication for All.” This really resonates with me, as these words are what made me want to be a Speech-Language Pathologist.
Think about your day. Think about each and every small way you communicate with others. It might just be a certain way you look at your friend, or a wave from your car to your neighbor, or an hour-long conversation with your mom and dad. We are constantly in communication with those around us and so many of us, myself included, take it for granted every day.
Impact of Communication Disorders
Communication disorders affect people across the lifespan. We work with individuals with both developmental and acquired conditions. Our goal is to give people tools they need to successfully communicate and participate in their daily roles, whether is be on the playground, participation in school, at dinner with their spouse, at a job, or in an emergency room.
It’s Not Just In The Words
Communication doesn’t just involve words made up of sounds we hear. Merriam Webster defines communication as a “process by which information is exchanged between individuals.” Exchanging information can be done verbally, through writing, with pictures, with signs, with body language, facial expressions, and even the tone of your voice.
To me, what makes giving someone the ability to improve communication so rewarding is that I’m giving someone tools to share with another person and to interact in this meaningful way. A lot of times, I see disappointment in parents when their children have not yet developed speech. Sometimes in people’s minds, this is the only way we can communicate.
But a child looking at me, smiling, and waiting for bubbles or a push on the swing, or using a picture to tell me what they want IS communication. They are with me and sharing a message about the environment we are in together.
Family: An Important Piece Of The Puzzle
As therapists, we are constantly putting pieces together to build on skills individuals already have, and tailoring our interventions to best suit our clients’ needs. We rely on research and evidence-based treatments, our own experiences and problem-solving skills, and our clients’ families.
Family, whether we are working with an adult or sibling, is such an integral part of the therapy process. Families help us to determine what is a priority in therapy, or how to motivate our clients. Most importantly, they assume our role when they leave our office. We whole-heartedly believe that the steps to improving communication skills involve team effort. It requires participation from the individual, family members, and therapists.
When are working together, amazing gains can happen with a child’s development and communication goals!!
Communicate, Grow, Connect
At All About Speech & Language, we are always all about “Communication for All,” and we strive every day to continue improving our clients’ communication skills. We live out our mission daily by helping our clients “Communicate, Grow, Connect”; supporting them in their communication to grow as unique individuals and connect with others around them each and every day. It is an honor to be a part of this exciting and important journey!
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) provides some ideas on how to recognize Better Speech & Hearing month here:
ASHA also has resources with information about communication disorders here:
DISCLAIMER: Information published about one particular disorder does not necessarily apply to every individual who has the disorder discussed in this article. Treatments and therapies are highly individual and must be customized to the needs of each person to be effective. Do not make changes to your/your child’s treatment plan as a result of what you read in this article (or any content published by AASL) without consulting your/your child’s physicians and therapists. This content does not necessarily reflect the opinions of All About Speech and Language or its therapists. To understand the opinions and recommendations of your/your child’s AASL therapist, schedule an appointment with your therapist to discuss your concerns.Tags: Autism, Better Hearing and Speech Month, down syndrome, speech impediment, speech therapy, stutter