Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Speech-Language Pathologists Celebrate National Hearing and Speech Month

Fayette County's 34 speech-language pathologists gather for a rare photo opportunity to show their support of National Hearing and Speech Month.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and the Fayette County School System’s speech-language pathologists (SLP) are taking advantage of the 75-year old celebration to raise community awareness, knowledge and understanding of various forms of communication impairments and the work they do to help the county’s students overcome and/or cope with their disabilities.

The school system’s 34 SLPs serve over 1,215 speech-impaired students daily. They work with students in all grade levels, helping them gain communication skills so that they can be successful both academically and socially.

SLPs serve students who have difficulties in articulation/phonology, receptive/expressive language, pragmatic communication skills, voice and fluency. They also teach students who cannot speak verbally, or are hard to understand, how to use communication devices. Services are provided in a number of ways including one-on-one, resource settings, collaborative/classroom environments as well as in the community.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that approximately 10 percent of children have moderate to severe communication impairments, including speech production/articulation, stuttering and language-learning difficulties. Children with speech and language impairments are 4 to 5 times more likely than their peers to experience other language-learning disabilities including significant reading problems.

Speech impaired students are making big strides everyday in Fayette’s classrooms, improving their academic achievement, social quality of life, and ultimately career advancement potential. SLP Missy Vermeyen explains how she helped a nonverbal high school student progress from acting out in class and not participating in activities to becoming a leader who takes an active role in the classroom and is now speaking words and phrases.

“We gave her a simple communication device and she began using it immediately. She takes great pride in being able to participate in class and her speech intelligibility has improved dramatically. She now greets verbally with ‘hi’ and her name. This is only the beginning for her,” says Vermeyen.

Speech-language pathologists hold at least a master’s degree and are certified by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Community News You Can Use
Follow on Twitter @GAFrontPage
Fayette Front Page
Fayetteville, Peachtree City, Tyrone
Georgia Front Page
Arts Across Georgia

No comments: