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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). Why is it important to spread awareness regarding hearing safety? Check out these statistics:
Over 10 million Americans have hearing loss because of excess noise exposure.
Over 5 million children exhibit some degree of hearing loss due to exposure to noise at hazardous levels.
What is the main source of “hazardous noise?”
portable listening devices
indoor sports events
How can we avoid hazard noise levels?
Wear ear plugs to concerts and indoor sporting events. Inexpensive ear plugs can be purchased in the pharmacy section of most grocery stores and can reduce noise by 15-30 decibels. Cotton balls are NOT effective.
If your child regularly engages in an activity that requires exposure to loud noise, custom ear plugs can be made in order to more effectively reduce noise.
Be very cautious in allowing children under age 4 to use personal listening devices with earbuds. Always test the noise level and closely monitor use.
Many video game and personal listening devices offer parental volume control settings.
Check out Decibel 10th, a free app that measures decibel level.
Remind your children that it is too loud if:
• You must raise your voice to be heard
• You have difficulty understanding someone who is an arm's length away
• You have pain, ringing, or buzzing in your ears after exposure to loud sounds
• Speech sounds muffled or dull after noise exposure.
Questions? Please feel free to contact me: Meg Taino email@example.com
Whittier School Speech-Language Pathologist
Information in this article was adapted from recommendations made by the American Speech Hearing Association
General Information about speech-language services at Whittier School:
I am a speech-language pathologist at Whittier Elementary School. I serve students in grades K-5.
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have questions about K-5 speech-language services at Whittier.
Below are some general guidelines to consider when making a speech-language referral:
When should I make a Speech-Language referral?
- Errors in pronunciation (see attached norms)
- Poor intelligibility
- Dialectal differences are NOT considered disordered speech
- Form – poor grammar and sentence formulation (NOT dialectal grammar differences)
- Receptive: poor vocabulary comprehension, unable to follow directions or sequence steps, weak basic concepts, incorrect response to –wh questions
- Expressive: speaks in incomplete sentences, use of stuff/thing/um in place of specific & age-appropriate vocabulary
- Use/Pragmatics – does the student have the language necessary to interact with teachers & peers? does the student make eye contact, take turns, stay on-topic, read nonverbal cues (facial expression, body language,etc)?
- Any consistent hoarseness or unusual vocal quality
Speech Sound Development Norms
Speech sounds should be mastered by the ages listed below:
5 years: all sounds except: v, l, th, sh, ch, j, s, z, r
6 years: v, l
7 years: th, sh, ch, j
8 years: s, z, r
* These are general guidelines, there are exceptions. If a child is unintelligible, please refer for screening. When in doubt, refer for screening!
Please feel free to contact me with any questions:
Email is the best way to reach me: firstname.lastname@example.org
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