1. BETTER HEARING AND SPEECH MONTH
- What is it?
- Each May, Better Hearing and Speech Month provides and opportunity to raise awareness and disorders and the role of American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in providing life-altering treatment. This year the theme was ‘building connections. Did you know that Communication disorders affect 46,000,000 people in the United States?!
- Learn more about Speech and Language HERE:
2. APRAXIA AWARENESS MONTH
- What is apraxia?
- Childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) is a motor speech disorder that makes it difficult for children to speak. In order for speech to occur, messages need to go from your brain to your mouth. These messages tell the muscles how and when to move to make sounds. When a child has apraxia of speech, the messages do not get through correctly. The child might not be able to move their lips or tongue in the right ways, even though their muscles are not weak. Sometimes, the child might not be able to say much at all (ASHA.org). However, children struggling with childhood apraxia of speech generally have a good inderstanding of language and know what they want to say, but there is a breakdown with the brain’s communication to the mouth muscles that are necessary for intelligble speech.
- Learn more about apraxia HERE:
3. NATIONAL STUTTERING WEEK (MAY 10-MAY15)
- What is stuttering?
- Stuttering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted. Some people who studder may repeat part of words (repetitions), stretch a sound out for a long time (prolongations), or have a hard time getting the word out (blocks). It is difficult to talk to people if you have a stutter, thus it is important to note that stuttering may also iclude tension or negative feelings about talking, it impacts the way one interacts with others or if the individual will avoid certain situations entirely as a result. Stuttering is constatnly changing. Some common triggers to increase stuttering are stress and excitement. Did you know that ,ore than 68 million people worldwide stutter, which is about 1% of the population. In fact, stuttering affects 4x as many males as females.
- Learn more about stuttering HERE:
4. PEDIATRIC STROKE AWARENESS MONTH
- What is pediatric stroke?
- Stroke is a type of blood vessel disorder. The main types of stroke are hemorrhagic (rupture of blood vessel causing bleeding within the brain) and ischemic (obstruction of blood flow to the brain). But strokes don’t just happen to adults, strokes can happen at any age- before birth, during birth, as a newborn/young child, or as an adult! The prevalence of Pediatric Stroke is 1 in every 4,000 newborns. Pediatric stroke is different than adult stroke and early identification and proper intervention is so important to promoting skill acquisition and improving quality of life for this population.
- Learn more about pediatric stroke HERE:
5. BRAIN TUMOR AWARENESS MONTH
- What is a brain tumor?
- An estimated 700,000 Americans are living with a primary brain tumor. Brain Tumor Awareness Month is dedicated to support, empower, and amplify the voices of the brain tumor community. Awareness and support can set the groundwork for new/effective drugs to treat this pooppulation and help others become more educated on the maltitude of challenges we face when treating brain cancer. Did you know that Pediatric brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer related death among children and adolescents under the age of 19.
- Learn more about brain tumor awareness HERE:
6. MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
- What is mental health?
- Each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During May, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health by fighting stigma, providing support, educating the public and advocating for policies that support people with mental illness and their families (NAMI.org). Did you know that it is estimated that 1 in 5 adults in America experience mental illness?
- Learn more about mental health and resources HERE:
7. PEDIATRIC FEEDING DISORDERS AWARENESS MONTH
- What are pediatric feeding disorders?
- A pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) is defines as impaired oral intake that is not age appropraite, and is associated with medical, nutritional, deeding skill and/or psychological dysfunction (NCBI NIH). Historically, pediatric feeding disorder has been significantly underserved and misunderstood. Pediatric Peeding disorder advocacy aims to improve the lives of children with pediatric feeding disorders by working towards a stand-alone diagnosis, government awareness, and inclusive insurance coverage. Did you know that it is estimated that PFD affects more than 2.3 million children under the age of 5 in the United States?!
- Learn more about pediatric feeding disorders HERE:
Just because May is over, it is our job to continue to learn about, and advocate for, those whom are fighting a battle we may not even know about. Through education, awareness, and research we can help support success and promote acceptance of vulnerable populations and groups so everyone can live life to their optimal potential.
Hi, I am an occupational therapist at South Shore Therapies. I specialize in pediatirc brain injury and stroke, but love working with all families to help kids reach their optimal potential. Our mission with SST’s social media platform is to empower, educate and inspire families to take on life’s challenges while promoting an optimistic outlook and a brighter future.