Better Hearing & Speech Month – MAY

Know the Signs of Speech and Language Disorders

Signs of common speech and language disorders in adults and children between birth to 4 years of age, an important stage in early detection of communication disorders.

Children: Signs of a Language Disorder

• Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)

• Does not babble (4-7 months)

• Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7-12 months)

• Does not understand what others say (7 months-2 years)

• Says only a few words (12-18 months)

• Words are not easily understood (18 months-2 years)

• Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5-3 years)

Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2-3 years)

Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2.5-3 years)

What Parents Can Do

• Listen and respond to your child

• Talk, read, and play with your child

• Talk with your child in the language you are most comfortable using

• Know it is good to teach your child to speak a second language

• Talk about what you are doing and what your child is doing

• Use a lot of different words with your child

• Use longer sentences as your child gets older

• Have your child play with other children


Children: Signs of a Speech Sound Disorder

• Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1-2 years)

• Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2-3 years)

• Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2-3 years)

What Parents Can Do

• Say the sounds correctly when you talk—it is okay if your child makes some mistakes with sounds

• Do not correct speech sounds—it is more important to let your child keep talking

Children Signs of Stuttering (Disfluency)

• Struggles to say sounds or words (2.5-3 years)

• Repeats first sounds of words—”b-b-b-ball” for “ball” (2.5-3 years)

• Pauses a lot while talking (2.5-3 years)

• Stretches sounds out—”f-f-f-f-farm” for “farm” (2.5-3 years)

What Parents Can Do

• Give your child time to talk

• Do not interrupt or stop your child while he or she is speaking

• See an SLP if you are concerned (Many young children stutter for a short period of time. In most cases, the stuttering will stop.)

Children: Signs of a Voice Disorder

• Uses a hoarse or breathy voice

• Uses a nasal-sounding voice

What Parents Can Do

• See a doctor if your child sounds hoarse or breathy or has a nasal-sounding voice

• Tell your child not to shout or scream

• Keep your child away from cigarette smoke

Adults: Signs of Speech & Language Disorders

• Struggles to say sounds or words (stuttering)

• Repetition of words or parts of words (stuttering)

• Speaks in short, fragmented phrases (expressive aphasia)

• Says words in the wrong order (expressive aphasia)

• Struggles with using words and understanding others (global aphasia)

• Difficulty imitating speech sounds (apraxia)

• Inconsistent errors (apraxia)

• Slow rate of speech (apraxia)

• Slurred speech (dysarthria)

• Slow or rapid rate of speech, often with a mumbling quality (dysarthria)


Better Hearing & Speech Month

Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and providing life-altering treatment.

For 2015, our theme is “Early Intervention Counts.”

BHSM Resources for Your Practice

• Campaign logo [JPG]

• Poster [PDF]

• Facebook cover photo [JPG]

• Twitter header image [JPG]

• Linkedin [JPG]

• Coloring pages [PDF]

• Bookmarks [PDF]

• Products available for purchase (t-shirts, pens, balloons, etc.)

• ASHA Consumer Education materials

• Share Your BHSM Stories

• Hearing Screening Form – Adults [PDF]

Publicize BHSM

• Speaking Up for Communication Contest

• Sample blog post – 10 Tips for Managing Kids’ Tech Time

• Sample blog post – Communication Disorders Common in Older Americans

• Press release template for SLPs and audiologists

• Media advisory template for SLPs andaudiologists

• Letter to Parents template

• Identify the Signs toolkit for members

• Proclamation and Resolution [Word]

ASHA Recognizes BHSM

• Press Release – May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month: ASHA to Lead Extensive Consumer Outreach Effort Focused on Technology and        Communication

• The ASHA Leader – Remember, May Brings Communication Disorders to the Fore

• Blog Post – Join Us in ‘Speaking Up for Communication’ this May

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