May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Better Hearing & Speech Month is a big month for hearing specialists and speech language pathologists. It’s also a big month for you. BHSM gives everyone an enormous opportunity to help spread crucial wellness information to those who need it most.

What is BHSM?

All you need to know about Better Hearing and Speech Month is in its name. BHSM was started to provide outreach and instruction about hearing loss-related communication disorders. These are disorders which can, according to the NIDCD, “compromise physical and emotional health and affect the social, educational, vocational, and recreational aspects of life.”

It’s a month about the importance of treatment. Not only why it’s crucial, but how to get it. BHSM is just as much about the practical side of hearing and language healthcare.

Affordable hearing healthcare is also a big issue, and one the NIDCD vocally supports. Many people, even if they are aware of the help they can get, might be worried about being able to afford appointments and ongoing management.

Hearing Loss and Communication Disorders

Hearing loss and communication disorders often go hand in hand, and BHSM addresses them both.

Hearing difficulty has an effect on how one interacts with the world. For a child with a developing brain, this interaction could lead to communication or developmental disorders. For an adult, sudden onset or gradual hearing loss can lead to difficulty in concentrating or conversation. Audiologists and speech language pathologists often work together in treatment and management, and this month helps highlight that process.

If you want to know more, REM has written previously about the relationship between hearing and development.

What Can You Do To Help

A big part of this month is helping people with hearing or speech disorders understand their options.

ASHA has a program called “Communication for All” that allows you to easily spread the word. All you have to do is sign up with your personal social media accounts and select which graphics, posts, or videos you want to share with your followers. With each share, you get points that could potentially lead to prizes.

Closer to home, you can approach family or friends who might feel hesitant about getting their hearing assessed. You can point them to some of the resources we’ve listed below. Often one of the best things you can do in approaching hearing loss in others is letting people know they are not alone.

Resources

1. When you have time, the American Speech Language Hearing Association has a lot of great resources you should check out. They break up the month into themes, each week tackling a different topic. Hearing loss in kids and swallowing disorders in adults are just two examples. They also have a helpful list of specific ways you can get involved.

2. The American Academy of Audiology also has a good list of web and advertising tools.

3. Be sure to check out REM’s Facebook page (as well as ASHA’s) for relevant posts throughout the month.