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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month!
by Susie S. Loraine, M.A., CCC-SLP
The month of May is a reason to celebrate! May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and organizations throughout the country are sponsoring speech, language, and hearing screenings and providing assistance all month long.
There are two types of professionals that can screen your child for speech and hearing problems. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are the professionals who diagnose and treat speech and language disorders. (For more information see Handy Handout #162 What is a Speech-Language Pathologist? ) Audiologists are the professionals who diagnose and treat hearing loss. (For more information see Handy Handout #163 What is an Audiologist? ) Visit to locate a speech or hearing specialist in your area.
Did You Know?
  • Approximately 43,000,000 people in the United States have communication disorders. This means they have problems with speech, voice, language, and/or hearing.
  • Speech disorders include not being able to say a sound correctly (e.g., "wabbit" for "rabbit"), stuttering, and voice problems (e.g., hoarseness, too low or too high pitch).
  • Language disorders include having a limited vocabulary, using grammar or syntax incorrectly, and having poor social skills.
  • Hearing loss includes physical issues with the ear canal, middle ear, inner ear, or auditory nerve.
  • Males are more likely to have speech, language, and/or hearing disorders than females.
  • 10 percent of children have moderate to severe communication impairments.
  • By first grade, about 5 percent of children have speech disorders.
  • More than 3,000,000 Americans stutter or have a fluency disorder—males are three times more likely to be affected than females.
  • Children with speech or language impairments are four to five times more likely than their peers to have other learning disabilities including significant reading problems.
  • Autism affects approximately 400,000 individuals in the United States—males are three to four times more likely than females to have an autism spectrum disorder.
ASHA. (2008). Retrieved May 6, 2008, from
Michigan State University. (2008). May is better hearing and speech month. Retrieved May 6, 2008, from
NIDCD. (2008). Retrieved May 6, 2008, from

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