May is Speech and Hearing Awareness Month. Many of us take our abilities to communicate for granted. Yet the quality of our capacity to speak, hear and be heard is so much more vital to our lives than most people realize. There are millions of Canadian families living with these challenges every day.
The month of May has long been celebrated across North America to applaud the triumphs of individuals with communication disorders and recognize the professionals that assist them. Speech-language pathologists, audiologists and supportive personnel are trained professionals who work with people of all ages dealing with issues related to speech, language, hearing, balance, swallowing and other related disorders. Whether working with a hearing impaired child, an adult stutterer or an elderly person after a stroke, their goal is to help clients "Speak well, hear well, live well" and achieve a better quality of life.
The Canadian Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (CASLPA) represents more than 5,700 communication professionals and dedicates the month of May to raising public awareness of the professions and many issues surrounding communication disorders. Watch for exciting May Month events in your community such as hearing screenings, speech clinics and other activities listed on our online coming events calendar at www.caslpa.ca/english/events/may.asp. We'll also be honoring 97 members, who will join 737 others that are 25 year members of the association. Check the CASLPA website to see who is on the list from your community www.caslpa.ca/english/profession/25year_award.asp.
CASLPA is kicking off May Month 2011 with the launch of our first ever Swallowing Awareness Day on Monday May 9. Feeding or swallowing disorders (also known as dysphagia) affect infants, young children, adults and the elderly in different ways and for a number of reasons (reflux, down syndrome, cleft lip and palate, prematurity, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, brain injury, stroke). Untreated feeding and swallowing disorders can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, pneumonia, delayed growth and development, social difficulties, airway obstruction or even death. Speech-language pathologists play an important role in treatment.
To find a professional near you or for regular news, updates, articles and resources related to communication disorders, visit www.speechandhearing.ca, follow @CASLPA on Twitter at twitter.com/CASLPA or fan us on Facebook at tinyurl.com/caslpaonfacebook