Many of us take our ability to communicate for granted, but the ability to speak, hear and be heard is much more vital to our everyday lives than most of us realize. For those who have difficulty communicating, everyday interactions can pose significant challenges. A communication disorder may prevent an individual from performing well at work, asking for help, hearing instructions at school or even saying ‘I love you’.
Early Identification and Intervention is Key
One in six people in Canada has a communication disorder. Communication disorders include speech, language and hearing, as well as auditory, swallowing and balance disorders. Known collectively as communication health professionals, speech-language pathologists, audiologists and communication health assistants treat a range of communication disorders.
Communication disorders can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical, emotional, social, vocational and financial well being, which is why it’s important to identify problems early on. No matter how old you are, the earlier that a disorder is identified, the better the chances are for improvement.
What Do Communication Health Professionals Do?
Speech-language pathologists and audiologists work with people of all ages to identify, assess and treat a wide range of communication disorders. Speech-language pathologists help to manage speech, language, voice, swallowing and feeding disorders. Audiologists work with individuals with hearing loss, auditory processing disorders, tinnitus and other auditory disorders, as well as balance disorders.
In addition to working in clinical settings, speech-language pathologists and audiologists work in research, education, advocacy, policy development and health administration. Communication health assistants assist speech-language pathologists and audiologists in treating patients and clients.
Ready to get involved? Click here to find out how you can participate during Speech and Hearing Month 2021!
Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) is a member-driven organization that supports, promotes and elevates the professions of our members and associates. We are the only national organization passionately supporting and representing speech-language pathologists, audiologists and communication health assistants inclusively. Through this support, we champion the needs of people with communication disorders.
To learn more about SAC or to find a communication health professional near you, please visit www.communicationhealth.ca.