South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel recognizes the month of May as Better Speech and Hearing Month. This month, we focus on raising awareness about communication disorders and promoting ways to improve the quality of life for those who experience problems with speaking, understanding or hearing.
Common Experiences for Children Who May Have Speech/Language Disorders:
• Problems with articulation of sounds or fluency, such as stuttering
• Difficulty with communicating wants or needs
• Social isolation: when a child becomes frustrated with not being able to speak properly or has a lack of understanding from peers, it can cause him or her to experience difficulty in social situations
• Language-based education challenges such as reading, spelling and writing or difficulty expressing thoughts, wants and needs
Delays in developmental milestones can be a trigger for speech/language problems. For example, if a child takes longer to learn how to walk, he or she may be slower when learning verbal skills. Watch for these developmental milestones to determine if your child needs early intervention. If delays in developmental milestones are proactively addressed early on, a child is less at risk for speech problems.
If you think a speech issue may be present, it is important to discuss these concerns with your pediatrician. A referral can be setup with a pediatric speech therapist at South Central Regional Medical Center. A comprehensive speech/language evaluation determines if there is a speech/language disorder affecting everyday function at home, school or socially. The type of speech evaluation used can vary depending on the situation.
Along with providing services for child communication development, the program also focuses on rehabilitation of adult speech therapy patients. Speech Therapy helps restore speech, language, voice and swallowing after a stroke and preserves these functions in patients with Parkinson’s disease, Dementia and other Neurological diseases. At South Central Regional Medical Center, our licensed speech-language pathologists evaluate and treat a number of different speech, language, communication and swallowing disorders.
Common Experiences for Adults Who May Have Speech/Language Disorders:
• Speech Sound Production - if a patient has slurred speech due to a stroke, head injury or neurological disease, we can help improve speech sound production.
• Language Issues - such as trouble finding the right words or difficulty forming complete statements.
• Cognitive Difficulties - including problems with short-term memory, organization and planning.
• Swallowing (Dysphagia) – problems chewing or swallowing that can lead to dehydration, malnutrition or aspiration.
If you have a child that is experiencing any of these issues, South Central Regional Medical Center’s Pediatric Speech Therapy department can assist with development of your child’s communication. By taking proactive steps in your child’s communication, it will ensure your child has the ability reach their learning potential, help socialize with others and excel in school.
If you know of an adult who is experiencing communication problems, help is available. A physician referral is required. Adult and Pediatric Speech Therapy are offered at South Central’s Wellness and Rehabilitation Center at 23 Mason Street in Laurel. For more information about the program, please call 601-399-0539 or visit scrmc.com.