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Campaign Highlights Importance of Early Detection of Communication Disorders

As many as one in ten Americans has some form of communication disorder that interferes with their ability to interact with their family, friends and members of their community. A nationwide launch of the new public awareness campaign “Identify the Signs” by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is drawing attention to the issue. OCH Rehab Services Licensed Speech-Language Pathologists Laurel Jones and Lori Windle are encouraging parents, caregivers and others to educate themselves about the early warning signs of speech, language, and hearing disorders.

“As a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, I see how delayed intervention impacts the people in our community every single day,” said Jones. “ASHA’s campaign has great potential 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,” she continued.
The “Identify the Signs” campaign stems from ASHA’s new findings that identify lack of
awareness of the early warning 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.
“Far too many people right here Starkville and across the country 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 immediately,” said Windle.
Jones and Windle provide identification, evaluation and rehabilitation for a variety of speech, language, fluency, voice, swallowing, and cognitive disorders. For more information about OCH Rehab Services Speech-Language Therapy, which are available for children and adults of all ages on both an inpatient and outpatient basis, call 615-3020 or visit och.org and look under “Our Services.” All therapy provided through the OCH Rehab Services Department requires physician referral.

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