May is Better Hearing and Speech Month—a good time for honoring speech language pathologists for supporting and connecting with students, and also remembering to get our hearing checked! (Have you been putting it off?)
Most people who develop hearing loss are older adults, but 131 out of every 1,000 school-age children have some degree of hearing loss.
It’s important that educators know the signs and symptoms in students, which include poor academic performance, delayed language development, and problems processing and making meaning of sounds. Students may also feel isolated, excluded and helpless. They might refuse to participate in group activities and have problems following directions.
This is why speech language pathologists (which schools don’t have enough of) are crucial. All educators have a superpower; for speech language pathologists, it is pulling students out of their isolation and creating the learning environments that open up new opportunities.
Carol Fleming, a speech language pathologist at Pulaski Heights Middle School in Little Rock, Ark. and an NEA State Director, is one of them. Read what Carol has to say about this awesome field, what it means for students, and the need for more speech language pathologists.
With the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal education law, we have an opportunity to speak out for what students and schools in every community need, including speech language pathologists. You can build your school’s Opportunity Checklist here.