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Happy May Month!

May 4, 2012

As you know, every month seems to be associated with some kind of cause, event, or activity.  Speech Language Pathology is no exception and we have claimed May as our own, to promote awareness of Speech, Language, and Hearing! This year, May Month even got a shout out from the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who said “It is estimated that one out of every ten Canadians suffers from a speech or hearing disorder. By taking the time this month to make an appointment for a hearing test, or by initiating family activities such as reading together, Canadians can help to identify the onset of these disorders and get the treatment they need.”

While Stephan Harper is bang on in his statements, May month is also about promoting language and swallowing disorders as well. What’s the difference between speech and language you might ask? SLP’s typically use the term “speech” to refer to the physical production of the sounds of our languages that we use to communicate verbally.  This can include articulation, fluency, and voice disorders. “Language,” according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)1, is the socially shared rules that govern what words mean, how to make new words and put words and sentences together, what words are appropriate in different situations, and the processes we use to understand and produce communicative messages!

Swallowing disorders, or Dysphagia, is an area that is often forgotten about by the public when they think about what an SLP might do. The Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) describes this area as ““the entire process of getting food/drinks/medications up to and into the mouth, managing these items in the mouth and swallowing them down safely, as well as control of saliva.”2

If you or someone you know is having difficulty with their speech, language, hearing, or swallowing, talk to them about how an SLP could help them, and direct them to this link, which makes it easy to find SLP and Audiology services no matter where you are!

Also, check out these tips to help promote healthy speech, language and hearing and don’t forget to spread the word about May Month! Speak well, hear well, live well!

-Adele Courchesne

References:

1 http://www.asha.org/public/speech/development/language_speech.htm

2 http://maymonth.ca/swallowing-awareness-day/

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 13, 2012 12:12 am

    SLP is really useful way of helping people with hearing disorders and may month is the month to take an initiative and help these people out.

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