Each May, The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) highlights Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) to raise awareness about communication disorders. The 2015 theme is “Early Intervention Counts.” The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) supports states in providing early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families (Part C) and special education and related services for preschool children with disabilities (Part B, Section 619). Results of a recent survey of ASHA’s membership revealed that 45% of expert respondents reported a lack of awareness as the number one barrier to early detection of communication disorders. Research has shown that early detection is critical to addressing communication disorders. Delayed intervention can result in delayed development, as well as poor academic or career performance.
The importance of human communication—talking, reading, listening and interacting—is paramount to children’s overall development, including their academic and social success. The importance of human interaction is all the more true in this age of technology, in which “smart” devices occupy an ever-increasing amount of time, attention and prominence in the lives of infants to teens. For more information and resources about early detection of communication disorders, visit ASHA’s Web site (www.asha.org) and its Identify the Signs campaign (identifythesigns.org), which includes some interesting articles below:
Download the 2015 Better Hearing & Speech Month poster:
The ASHA materials contained herein are not an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education and herein do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the United States Department of Education.
Dawn Ellis is an Education Program Specialist in the Office of Special Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education.