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New Campaign Highlights Importance of Early Detection of Communication Disorders

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has launched a nationwide multimedia campaign—Identify the Signsto raise awareness of the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing issues. The campaign stems from ASHA’s new findings that identify lack of awareness of these signs as the leading barrier to early detection and treatment.

Results of a recent survey of ASHA’s membership revealed that 45% of expert respondents reported lack of awareness as the number one barrier to early detection of communication disorders. Research has shown that early detection is critical to treating—and oftentimes reversing—communication disorders. Delayed treatment can result in isolation, poor academic or career performance, and delayed development.

“Our members are certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists who see the consequences of delayed intervention each and every day,” ASHA President Patricia A. Prelock, PhD, CCC-SLP, says. “We are launching this year-long campaign to help the public identify and act on the early warning signs of communication disorders, allowing people to get the most effective treatment for the best chance at improved quality of life.”

ASHA’s new campaign will consist of English and Spanish television, radio, and print public service announcements disseminated to outlets across the country. In addition, the effort will include an online banner ad and feature a campaign website highlighting the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders, as well as consumer resources for treatment and help.

“An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from communication disorders. This campaign has the ability to reduce that number by helping people to identify the first signs of these disorders and seek professional help at a time when treatment is most effective,” Prelock says.

For more information, visit www.IdentifyTheSigns.org.

About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 166,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, speech, language, and hearing scientists, audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel, and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems, including swallowing disorders. www.asha.org/.

View all ASHA press releases at www.asha.org/about/news.

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