One in every six Americans has difficulty communicating. Speech,
language, and hearing problems are serious, yet treatable conditions
that people seldom talk about-they are "silent struggles."
Communication disorders can take many forms. Children can be born
with disorders that can affect hearing, speech, or language development,
or a combination of the three. Accidental injury or illness can
cause difficulties at any age. In general, communication disorders
can limit school success, social adjustment, and career advancement.
Fortunately, there are professionals trained to help with these
communication problems. Audiologists diagnose hearing difficulties
and then recommend hearing aids and other assistive listening devices
when appropriate. They can teach people with hearing loss strategies
to make communication easier. Speech-language pathologists treat
all types of speech, language, thinking, and swallowing problems.
Even if the problem cannot be eliminated, they can teach strategies
to help them cope and function as independently as possible in their
home, school, and/or community.
Audiologists and Speech-language pathologists hold a minimum of
a master's degree, certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing
Association and are licensed by the state of Missouri. They work
in schools, private practice, hospitals, clinics and other health
and educational settings.
If you have concerns about any of these topics for you or for a
friend/loved one, please call the Speech-Language Pathology and
Audiology Association at 1-888-SAY-MSHA or MSHA@showmemsha.org
. Anything that limits abilities in hearing, speech or language
limits your life. Here's to better communication.