There’s so much to look forward to in May. Warmer weather, blooming flowers, and summer vacations. On top of all this, we also love May because it is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Better Speech and Hearing Month (BHSM) is hosted by the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) every year to help spread awareness and increase community action on issues related to communication and hearing disorders.
All About Better Hearing and Speech Month
Better Hearing and Speech Month dates all the way back to its inception in 1927. BHSM is always held in May and has always strived to raise awareness about hearing and speech issues and their life-altering treatments. Each year, however, ASHA announces an annual theme to help hearing and speech professionals, communities, and families delve deeper into important speech and hearing related topics. This year, the theme is “Communication Across the Lifespan.”
In honor of this great theme, ASHA has put together great materials on important speech and hearing related milestones for babies and children, as well as signs of speech or hearing related issues in children or adults. There is a vast amount of information on the BHSM website here: https://www.asha.org/bhsm/.
Warning Signs of Hearing or Speech Concerns
The amount of information on the BHSM website can feel overwhelming, so we decided to put together this quick outline of the warning signs of a speech or hearing issue through the human lifespan.
- 0-7 months – Some common signs of a speech or hearing disorder for children birth to 7 months are as follows: the child does not smile or interact with others, does not react to noise or songs near them, does not babble or make verbal noises.
- 7-12 months – Some common signs of a speech or hearing concerns in children 7-12 months are: the child uses very few words or gestures, does not react to his or her name.
- 1-3 years – Toddlers at this age who are experiencing hearing or speech concerns may show the following signs: does not follow simple 1-2 step verbal instructions, does not string simple words together to create sentences, has trouble talking to and playing with other children, does not point to or name pictures in a familiar book.
- 4-12 years – School aged children who are experiencing untreated hearing loss or communication disorders may show the following signs: socially isolated or unhappy at school, lack of academic growth and progress in reading and/or math, persistent ear discomfort after loud noise.
- 13-18 years – Hearing loss in teenagers is on the rise. Signs of hearing loss in teens involve: speaking excessively loud during normal conversation, listening to music of TV at high volumes (more so than other typical teenagers), frequently saying they didn’t hear or asking their friends to repeat themselves, ringing or buzzing in the ears.
- Over 18 years – As adults, common signs of hearing loss or a speech issue are as follows: feeling as though you can hear people, but cannot understand them, avoiding social situations and group conversations, frustration during communication, others complaining that you are not listening, tinnitus (buzzing or ringing in the ears), or depression. Hearing loss tends to happen gradually, so it is important to schedule an annual hearing test to monitor your hearing abilities.
Celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month
There are many ways that you can celebrate Better Hearing and Speech Month with us. Firstly, and most importantly, the best way to honor BHSM is to schedule a comprehensive hearing test with our friendly team. Untreated hearing loss can leave you feeling isolated, misunderstood, and frustrated.
Luckily, treating hearing loss with hearing aids has been clinically proven to improve mood, relationships, and overall quality of life. What better month than May to take care of your hearing health?
There are also other ways to get involved in BHSM. You can add a Better Hearing and Speech Month frame to your Facebook or Twitter profile or cover photos. You can also purchase BSHM swag from https://www.asha.org/bhsm/. You can even share your own personal story related to overcoming speech or hearing issues or read the stories of others by visiting https://www.asha.org/bhsm/stories/.
From all of us at Hearing Wellness Solutions, we wish you a happy and healthy Better Hearing and Speech Month!