Monday, June 4, 2007

We are blessed for help with hearing

Kathryn Byrd, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Dear Editor: May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, during which the services and accomplishments of speech-language pathologists and audiologists are recognized. As a speech-language pathologist, I am proud of those in our profession who serve children with communication impairments in schools, and, for preschoolers, in their natural environment, as well as those who serve the adult population who experience communication deficits because of strokes, accidents, disease, etc. Through their services, these individuals can lead more productive lives. Audiologists, of course, deal with hearing impairment, whose services, with our graying population, will be needed more and more.

I am a fan of the comic strip “For Better or Worse" by Lynn Patterson. How appropriate it is that in May, Better Hearing and Speech Month, there is a series on treating the grandfather Jim’s aphasia by a speech-language pathologist, and the frustrations Jim and his wife Iris experience when Jim wants to say one thing and something entirely different comes out. Patterson presents an excellent and compassionate depiction.

I hope those who experience hearing or speech/language difficulties seek help. So much can be done. We are blessed to have many excellent resources in West Alabama, with the public schools, the University of Alabama Speech and Hearing Center, Early Intervention, Easter Seals, the VA, the hospitals, etc. The phone book lists all these resources.