Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Marketing and Communications
- Q. Can you treat children and adults who speak other languages?
- Q. What is Help Me Grow (HMG)?
- Q. Why is it important to identify speech, language and learning delays as early as possible?
- Q. What should I do if I think that my child has a problem with speech, language, reading or writing?
- Q. What is the purpose of a speech-language evaluation?
- Q. What is the cause/reason why my child has a speech-language disorder?
- Q. What is autism?
- Q. What can I do to help my child at home?
- Q. What are some signs or symptoms of autism?
- Q. What are signs and symptoms of stuttering?
- Q. Our 5-year-old daughter stutters occasionally, and I say, "Stop. Take a deep breath. Slow down." Is that good advice?
- Q. My child was developing quite normally until the age of 18 months; At that time, I noticed a change in his behavior. He stopped talking, didn't look at us and seemed to be in his own world. What should I do?
- Q. Lately, I've noticed that when my little boy watches television, he turns the volume up louder and louder. Should I be concerned?
- Q. If my child is not speaking at age 2, should I wait longer to see if he/she will begin to talk?
- Q. How many times per week and for how long do therapy sessions last?
- Q. Do you also see adult clients, and what are the typical diagnoses?
- Q. Do I need a special referral to receive services?
- Q. At what age can a speech-language pathologist identify if my child has a speech/language delay?
- Q. Should I have my child's hearing tested?
Q. Why does CHSC need my financial support?
A: Essentially, because the cost of services and programs has increased faster than funding, and because of a greater number of Northeast Ohio residents requiring those services.
Q. Where are you located?
A. Our main center is located in University Circle at
11635 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106-4319
We also have satellite offices in the following locations:
4257 Mayfield Rd
South Euclid, OH 44121
Voice/TTY: (216) 382-4520
7000 Town Centre Drive, Suite 200
Broadview Heights, OH 44147
Voice/TTY: (440) 838-1477
Community Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
1913 North Ridge Road East
Lorain, OH 44055
Voice/TTY: (440) 277-4602
Q. What services do you provide?
A: We are an outpatient facility that provides the following programs and services: Audiology, Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing and speech-language pathology. CHSC also oversees the management of the Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP), which services 14 counties in Northeast Ohio. All CHSC departments provide community outreach/education, support groups, student training and advocacy.
Q. Is the Hearing & Speech Center part of a hospital?
A: No, we are a community-based, nonprofit organization.
Q. How much will your services cost me?
A: Please call our client intake specialists at (216) 231-8787 for service fee information.
Q. How do I go about scheduling a sign language interpreter?
A. Contact Community Services for the Deaf to schedule an interpreter:
Voice/TTY: (440) 277-4602
Q. Do you take insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid?
A. Yes, we accept most insurance plans. Please call our client intake specialists at (216) 231-8787 for complete information.
Q. Do you offer sign language classes?
A. Yes. Contact Community Services for the Deaf for class information:
Voice/TTY: (440) 277-4602
Q. How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
A: Waiting times can vary. Please call (216) 231-8787 for more information.
Q. Do I need to be referred by a doctor?
A: No. CHSC has an open referral policy. That means in most cases, simply call the office nearest you and make an appointment. Referrals also come from teachers, family doctors, specialists or friends.
Q. What are your hours?
A. Hours vary by office location. Please call (216) 231-8787 for more information.
Q. Will a hearing aid make me lose more hearing?
A. No, a hearing aid will not cause your hearing loss to get worse. Your audiologist will set your hearing aid so that the hearing aid does not amplify sounds above a level that could cause additional hearing loss. Actually, wearing a hearing aid may help prevent future hearing loss. Research studies have shown that wearing a hearing aid may slow down the progression of hearing loss because it is keeping your ears active by stimulating them with new sounds.
Q. Why should I see an audiologist?
A. By virtue of an audiologist's graduate education (audiologists hold either a master's or doctoral degree from accredited universities and are required to complete a full-time internship and pass a national competency examination), they are the MOST qualified professionals to perform hearing tests, refer patients for medical treatment of hearing and/or ear disorders and provide hearing rehabilitation services.
Q. Why can I hear some people talking and not others?
A. Hearing loss can affect different pitches (frequency) and loudness (intensity). Therefore, if you have a hearing loss for high-pitched sounds, you may have difficulty hearing and understanding children and female voices but can understand men's voices just fine. Your ability to understand others may also depend on the situation. If someone is speaking to you from another room, you will probably have more difficulty because the person is far away from you and you cannot see the speaker's face. However, if that same person is speaking to you in the same room, you may have no difficulty at all.
Q. What is an audiologist?
A. An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses, treats and manages individuals with hearing loss or balance problems. Audiologists have received a master's or doctoral degree from an accredited university graduate program. Their academic and clinical training provides the foundation for patient management from birth through adulthood. Audiologists determine appropriate patient treatment of hearing and balance problems by combining a complete history with a variety of specialized auditory and vestibular assessments. Based upon the diagnosis, the audiologist presents a variety of treatment options to patients with hearing impairment or balance problems. Audiologists dispense and fit hearing aids as part of a comprehensive habilitative program. Audiologists may be found working in medical centers and hospitals, private practice settings, schools, government health facilities and agencies, colleges and universities. As a primary hearing health provider, audiologists refer patients to physicians when the hearing or balance problem requires medical or surgical evaluation or treatment.
Q. What causes hearing loss?
A. There are many conditions that may cause a hearing loss, including impacted earwax, fluid in the middle-ear space (behind the eardrum), middle-ear bones that are not connected properly or that have an abnormal growth, an abnormal growth in the middle-ear space, exposure to loud noises, exposure to certain medications, heredity, genetics and age. Following the hearing evaluation, the audiologist will be able to tell you if you have a hearing loss and, if so, how much hearing loss is present. However, she may not be able to tell you the exact cause of your hearing loss.
Q. Is it difficult to adjust to hearing aids?
A. No, it is not difficult to adjust to hearing aids, but all hearing aids do require an adjustment period, usually one to two months. The adjustment period occurs because the hearing aids are bringing in new sounds that you are not used to hearing. Your brain (the part of our body that actually does the listening) must learn how to interpret this new information coming from the hearing aids. The best way to adjust to new hearing aids is to wear them as much as possible. For other tips on how to adjust to hearing aids, link to Hearing Aid section.
Q. How often should I have my hearing tested?
A. Many primary care physicians will complete a hearing screen at the time of an annual physical. People who work in noisy environments are sometimes required by OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) to undergo periodic evaluations. By about age 60 years, everyone should have an initial, baseline evaluation. If hearing is found to be normal, then repeat evaluations every two to three years is recommended. Once hearing loss is diagnosed, hearing evaluations should be completed every year.
Q. How often do hearing aids need to be replaced and repaired?
A. Generally speaking, hearing aids should last for at least five years. The need for new hearing aids may occur if a patient's hearing status changes or if the hearing aid can longer be repaired. With the availability of programmable and digital hearing aids, changes can be made in the audiologist's office and should reduce the need to order new hearing aids merely because of changes in hearing status. The number of times a hearing aid needs to be repaired varies for each individual, depending on the style and care of the hearing aid. In-the-ear, in-the-canal and completely-in-the canal hearing aids tend to have higher repair rates than behind-the-ear hearing aids due to the electrical components being directly exposed to ear canal. Earwax is the No. 1 reason that causes hearing aids to stop working. There are steps that can be taken to ensure proper care of hearing aids and lessen the likelihood of repairs:
1. Clean your hearing aid daily with the tools provided by your audiologist.
2. Continue to see your audiologist for routine hearing aid checks about every six months.
3. Keep the hearing aid away from moisture.
4. Open the battery door at night to help dry out any moisture that may be in the hearing aid.
Q. Does a hearing aid help in background noise?
A. Hearing people speaking in the presence of background noise, such as at a restaurant or family gathering, is always more difficult to understand, even for people with normal hearing. There are some hearing aids, however, that are specifically designed to help reduce the level of background noise. If you are frequently in situations in which there is background noise, talk to your audiologist about the most appropriate hearing aid for you and your lifestyle.
Q. Are hearing aids covered by insurance (including Medicare)?
A. Your health insurance may cover part or all of the cost of a hearing aid. Medicare does not pay for any costs associated with purchasing a hearing aid. Medicaid does cover the cost of one analog hearing aid every four years for adults and two digital hearing aids every five years for children. Please contact our office if you have questions about your health insurance coverage for hearing aids.
Q. How long do hearing aid batteries last?
A. Battery life varies depending on the size of the battery, how much you wear the hearing aid and the amount of hearing loss you have. On average, a size 675 battery (blue sticker) will last two to three weeks, a size 13 battery (orange sticker) will last two weeks, a size 312 battery (brown sticker) will last one to two weeks, and a size 10 battery (yellow sticker) will last five to seven days. Hearing aid batteries do not last as long as watch batteries because a lot of power is required to operate a hearing aid.
Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Q. Who is responsible for paying for the interpreter?
A. The enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1991 allowed for equal access to all persons with disabilities at no cost to them. Therefore, generally, the establishment requesting the service is responsible, unless undue financial burden could be proved. ADA also states that costs relating to equal access cannot be charged to the person with a disability or added to their bill.
Q. Where do I reach an interpreter?
A. You can contact the Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing at Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center.
Cuyahoga County (216) 231-0787
Lorain County (440) 277-4602
Q. What other services are offered?
A. CCDHH services include:
- American Sign Language interpreting services
- In-service programs
- Community info, education and referral
- Assistive listening device information
- American Sign Language classes
- Neuropsychological assessment, for individuals 4 to -21 years of age who are deaf or hard of hearing, to evaluate cognitive strengths and weaknesses
- Support services for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families
- Advocacy and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) consultation
- Information and referral programs
- Summer youth programs
- SignStage educational programs
Q. What if I need an interpreter in the middle of the night or weekends or holidays?
A. Our agency provides interpreting services 24 hours/day, seven days/week. You can reach an interpreter by calling the emergency pager number, given when you contact our office. Call the emergency pager number and enter your phone number.
Q. If I can understand the Deaf person's voice, do I still need to get an interpreter?
A. Possibly not. Many Deaf people were not born deaf, thereby acquiring some language and vocalization skills early in life. However, this does not mean that the Deaf person has any hearing now, or that they are skilled lipreaders. There are many Deaf people with very clear, understandable voices. They may still require an interpreter.
Q. How do I know if I have to get an interpreter or not?
A. The best person to answer this question is the Deaf person. You can ask them if they would like an interpreter. Not all Deaf people want interpreters in every situation.
Q. For more information relating to ADA, you can call:
A. Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing at (216) 231-0787 (Cuyahoga County) or (440) 277-4602 (Lorain County). The Department of Justice at 1 (800) 514-0301 (ADA Hotline)
Q. Can we use a family member to interpret?
A. No. Family members are biased and cannot provide effective communication. For many years, the only interpreters were hearing family members. Interpreting has become a profession with its own educational standards and Code of Ethics.
Q. Can a Deaf person read lips?
A. Many Deaf people have the ability to read lips at varying degrees. However, even the best lipreaders do not get 100 percent of everything that is being said. Many factors affect the quality of lip reading, such as beards, mustaches, lighting of the room, etc. A Deaf person using American Sign Language (ASL) has a better chance at equal communication when an interpreter is provided.
Q. Can I just write notes with a Deaf person?
A. No. ASL is not a written language. ASL is truly another language; it has its own syntax and grammar and is very visual. Many Deaf people are not totally comfortable with English. This does not mean that they do not know how to read or that they are of low intelligence. It is like coming to America from another country. A certain percentage of Deaf people are very fluent in English, and others are not.
Q. Can I just take a sign language class or send one of my staff to a class to use them as an interpreter?
A. No. ASL is a complex language not to be mastered in one class or even a few classes. While learning the basics can help, it is important for the Deaf person to fully understand what is being conveyed. Another factor is that many hearing family members are NOT fluent in ASL or may not even know any signs at all.
Q. How can I get involved?
A. Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center has a number of
available. Please contact the Development Coordinator at (216) 325-7579 for further information.
Q. How do I make a gift to Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center?
A. Click here to see the many ways (including online, mailing a check, stock or real estate transfer, or through a planned giving vehicle such as a bequest or charitable gift annuity). For specific questions, contact the Director of Development, at (216) 325-7575.
Q. How can I make a gift to CHSC through a planned gift or through my will or bequest?
A. There are many opportunities for making planned gifts to Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center, including bequests, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, etc. For further information, please contact the Director of Development, at (216) 325-7575.
Q. Will you accept a gift from my company or private foundation?
A. Yes. Gifts from companies and private foundations will be accepted. Click here for how to make a gift to CHSC, or contact a Development Associate, at (216) 325-7576.
Q. Can I make a gift of appreciated stock to Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center?
For stock transfer instructions, please contact the Director of Development, at (216) 325-7575.
Click here for link to stock transfer instructions.
Q. Can I make a donation using my credit card?
A. Yes. Please use our online donation form. Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover. Or you may call (216) 325-7579 to speak with the Development Coordinator, who can process your donation over the phone.
Q. How will my gift be used?
A. Your gift to Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center will enable us to provide
services to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, have difficulty speaking,
have other language or literacy delays and disorders or have other
communication issues. Your gift may be designated to one of our programs
or services or will be applied where needed most.
Q. How should I make my check payable, and where do I mail it?
A. Please make your check payable to Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center.
Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center
11635 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44106-4319
Q. How much of my gift will be used for actual programs and services vs. administrative costs?
A. Annually, 83.6 percent of our annual budget is dedicated toward programs and
services, with only 16.4 percent dedicated toward administration and fundraising
expenses. Your gift will truly impact our ability to serve the community.
Q. How can I take advantage of my company's matching gift program?
A. Your employer may match your charitable gift to Cleveland Hearing &
Speech Center. Contact your Human Resources department to see if your
company has a matching gift program. If so, you will be provided with a
matching gift form that you should complete and mail in with your check.
Some companies have this form online. Cleveland Hearing & Speech
Center completes the rest of the form and mails it to your company. They
will mail us a check to match your gift.
Q. Can I make a gift in honor or memory of someone?
A. Yes. When you send us your gift, please send the name of the person
you are honoring or remembering, along with an address for that individual
or his/her family. We will mail a letter to the person you are honoring or to
the family of the person you are remembering stating that you have made
Q. Can I designate my United Way gift to Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center?
A. Yes. When you make a gift of $50 or more to United Way, you may
designate Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center as the organization to
which you are designating all or part of your gift. We will receive notification
of your gift designation directly from United Way. United Way will retain
12.6 percent of your gift for administrative purposes.
Q. Can I designate my gift for a specific purpose?
A. Yes. You may designate your gift to one of our programs or services
(Audiology, Community Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, Regional
Infant Hearing Program or Speech-Language and Learning), toward our
general endowment or toward a specific program. Your undesignated gift
will be used where needed most.
Q. Are my gifts to Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center tax-deductible?
A. Yes. Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center is a nonprofit, tax-exempt,
501(c)3 organization. Your gift is tax-deductible, to the full extent of the law.
If you have received goods or services in exchange for your gift (i.e.
purchasing an auction item), the value of those goods or services is
deducted from the total amount of your gift for the tax-deductible portion of
Marketing and Communications
Q. When was CHSC Founded?
A. Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center was founded in 1921 by Helen Newell Garfield. Mrs. Garfield, the daughter-in-law of the late President, began to lose her hearing in her mid 30s. To help adults like herself, she started a lipreading school that eventually became Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center.
Q. Are you affiliated with Case Western Reserve University?
A. Yes. In 1946 we merged with the speech clinic at Western Reserve University (now CWRU) to form Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center.
Q. Do you have an online press kit?
A. Yes. A complete online media kit is available for download in the newsroom section of the website.
Q. Why is the Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP) contacting me, and how did RIHP find out that my baby did not pass his/her hearing screening at birth?
A. As of 2004, Ohio law requires that all Ohio hospitals and birthing centers offer Universal Newborn Hearing Screening. These hearing screening reports must be sent by the birthing hospital to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). Then the ODH sends these reports to your local Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP). RIHP is responsible for contacting Ohio families whose babies did not pass the infant hearing screening. RIHP helps and encourages families to pursue further diagnostic hearing testing for their newborns.
Q. Which communication option works best for a child with a hearing loss?
A. All options can be successful. Choose the option that works best for your child and family. If you find one communication choice is not working well, choose another option. The important thing to remember is, as a well-informed parent, you know what is best for your child and family.
Q. Where can I find information about national resources?
A. Our website contains a wealth of information regarding national resources. To find exactly what you are looking for as quickly as possible, you can search an alphabetical listing, National Resources (Listed in ABC Order).
Q. What paperwork do I need to have ready when I contact financial assistance organizations?
A. The Financial Assistance section of this website can answer many of your questions! Look for the special link called Helpful Hints when applying to a funding source. Information on contacting SSI, BCMH, Medicaid and other funding sources can be found on this page as well.
Q. What is UNHS?
A. UNHS stands for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening. All infants born in Ohio hospitals or birthing centers have the opportunity to receive hearing screenings before discharge. Technology allows for hearing to be checked at any age, including newborns. The methods used are safe, quick and effective. The hearing screening determines whether a more detailed evaluation of a baby's hearing is needed. For more information, see the Parent Information Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Brochure.
Q. What is electrophysiological testing?
A. Sometimes medical, school and early-intervention staff use words that you've never heard before. At RIHP, we understand how stressful trying to figure out this information can be for families. To help you, we've created a list of helpful terms. See Deaf Terminology. We've even added a section on abbreviations and acronyms.
Q. What is an Individualized Family service Plan (IFSP)?
A. The purpose of the IFSP is to identify and organize resources to support the family's goals for their children and themselves. The IFSP is the interaction, collaboration and partnership between parents and providers, resulting in a written plan that:
- Lists outcomes for individual families and their infant or toddler
- Describes resources/services and their coordination that will support those outcomes
Q. What do the letters "RIHP" stand for?
A. Regional Infant Hearing Program
The Regional Infant Hearing Program is funded partially by a grant through the Ohio Department of Health, Bureau of Early Intervention Services. There are 10 RIHPs in Ohio. Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center's RIHP provides services to two of these regions (Regions five and 10) that include the following 14 counties: Ashland, Ashtabula, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Homes, Huron, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Richland, Trumbull and Wayne.
Q. What are the choices for communicating with my deaf or hard-of-hearing child?
A. The five choices are:
- American Sign Language (ASL)
- Auditory-Oral (AO)
- Auditory-Verbal (AV)
- Cued Speech
- Total Communication (TC)
For detailed information, see the Communication Choices
section of this website. Also, our Resources
section will provide you help with making this important decision.
Q. What are some resources that can help me choose a communication option for my child with hearing loss?
A. Check out the Resources section of this website to find information on national and local resources.
Q. My son/daughter is transitioning to preschool in six months. What is the MFE and IDEA?
A. For more information, see the Glossary of Terminology.
Q. My baby has hearing loss; what should I do?
A. Please contact us at:
Voice: (216) 325-7585
Toll Free: 1 (888) 996-7447 ext. 7585
Fax: (216) 325-7685
Regional Infant Hearing Program
11635 Euclid Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44106-4319
Q. How many children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents?
A. Ninety to 95 percent of children born with hearing loss have two hearing parents.
Q. How many babies are born with hearing loss?
A. Three to four newborns per 1,000 are diagnosed with hearing loss.
Q. How do I make a referral to the Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP)?
A. To make a referral to RIHP, call (216) 325-7585, toll-free at 1 (888) 996-7447 ext.7585, or email us at RIHP@chsc.org.
Share the child's name, date of birth, parent's name, phone number, address and any information known about the child's hearing loss.
Q. How do I know if my child can enroll in the Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP)?
A. The Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP) helps families of all infants and toddlers, ages 0 to 3, diagnosed with permanent hearing loss in one or both ears.
Q. How much does the Regional Infant Hearing Program (RIHP) cost?
A. Regional Infant Hearing Program's (RIHP) services are free to families.
Q. Can you treat children and adults who speak other languages?
A. Yes. ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists are trained to work with interpreters to assess the communication skills and needs of speakers of languages other than English.
Q. What is Help Me Grow (HMG)?
A. Ohio's early intervention system, Help Me Grow (HMG), is the statewide, family-centered, coordinated system serving children birth to 3 years of age who have or are at risk for developmental delays. Any family, regardless of income level, with a concern about the development of their infant or toddler is entitled to an evaluation and assessment to determine eligibility for HMG services. Information about Ohio's Help Me Grow Program is available at www.ohiohelpmegrow.ohio.gov.
Q. Why is it important to identify speech, language and learning delays as early as possible?
A. There are three primary reasons for intervening early with an exceptional child: to enhance the child's development, to provide support and assistance to the family and to maximize the child's and family's benefit to society.
Child development research has established that the rate of human learning and development is most rapid in the preschool years. Timing of intervention becomes particularly important when a child runs the risk of missing an opportunity to learn during a state of maximum readiness. If the most teachable moments or stages of greatest readiness are not taken advantage of, a child may have difficulty learning a particular skill at a later time. Karnes and Lee (1978) have noted that "only through early identification and appropriate programming can children develop their potential" (p. 1).
After nearly 50 years of research, there is evidence, both quantitative (data-based) and qualitative (reports of parents and teachers), that early intervention increases the developmental and educational gains for the child, improves the functioning of the family and reaps long-term benefits for society. Early intervention has been shown to result in the child: (a) needing fewer special education and other habilitative services later in life; (b) being retained in grade less often; and (c) in some cases being indistinguishable from nonhandicapped classmates years after intervention.
Q. What should I do if I think that my child has a problem with speech, language, reading or writing?
A. You should schedule an evaluation with a licensed, certified speech-language pathologist. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) examine communication abilities in all areas (listening, speaking, reading, writing). They also help people improve communication skills in all of these areas.
Q. What is the purpose of a speech-language evaluation?
A. A speech-language evaluation can determine whether speech, language, reading and writing skills are developing according to typical expectations and whether or not therapy is needed. A speech-language pathologist with experience in child development can evaluate your child's specific strengths and needs and establish an organized plan of treatment, if one is warranted.
Q. What is the cause/reason why my child has a speech-language disorder?
A. In many instances, speech-language pathologists, pediatricians and neurologists are not able to pinpoint a cause for speech-language difficulties. Contributing factors may be medical or environmental in nature. For example, speech-language disorders can be associate with hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injury, mental retardation, drug abuse or fetal exposure to drugs, various syndromes or other physical impairments. Also, vocal abuse or misuse may result in changes to the vocal folds that affects voice production and clarity of speech. Environmental factors that place children at risk for speech-language disorders include toxic lead levels can affect cognitive development and therefore speech-language abilities. Also, lack of experience/exposure to language can also limit a child's early language learning.
Q. What is autism?
A. According to the Autism Society of America, "autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life and affects a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. Autism is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a "spectrum disorder" that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. There is no known single cause for autism.
Q. What can I do to help my child at home?
A. Children who have been identified with speech-language impairments have likely established nonstandard patterns of speaking or have deficits that will require extra attention and training to improve. The speech-language pathologist (SLP) working with you and your child should serve as a "coach" to provide you with activities or homework to reinforce newly established skills and to strengthen emerging skills. One or two sessions a week is not enough, and your involvement in carryover activities is crucial to your child's communication development. Talk with your SLP about activities and games you can use at home to help.
Some things that may help your child's language development include:
- Book sharing (take turns holding the book and turning the pages, talk about the pictures, talk about the story, look for letters and words that are new to your child.
- Talk with your child during daily activities (doing laundry, doing dishes, buying groceries, bathtime, etc.) Give your child a job and talk while you work together.
For children with speech difficulties:
- Provide quiet "talk time" each day to give them a turn, uninterrupted, to share ideas and stories with you.
- Talk to your child face to face so that they can see how you move your tongue and lips to form sounds. Your example helps them to improve their own talking skills.
Q. What are some signs or symptoms of autism?
A. Children with autism may have problems with movement, communication and social skills, as well as difficulty understanding and reacting to the world around them. Not all "autistic-type" behaviors will exist in every person. Here are some signs to look for in children:
- Lack of or delay in spoken language
- Repetitive use of language and/or motor mannerisms (e.g., hand-flapping, twirling objects)
- Little or no eye contact
- Lack of interest in peer relationships; prefers to play alone
- Lack of spontaneous or make-believe play
- Persistent fixation on parts of objects
Q. What are signs and symptoms of stuttering?
A. According to the Stuttering Foundation of America, stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. While everyone is disfluent some of the time, these disfluencies occur more often or with greater severity in persons who stutter than they do in the general population. Approximately 1 percent of the population stutters, with males being affected four times more than females.
Q. Our 5-year-old daughter stutters occasionally, and I say, "Stop. Take a deep breath. Slow down." Is that good advice?
A. This can sometimes be frustrating for the child to hear. It may be better if you were to listen to your child's message rather than focus on how she is speaking. You can influence your child's rate of speech by slowing down yourself. This provides the child with a good speaking model. However, if you notice that stuttering continues or increases, your child is embarrassed, is being teased by other children or is avoiding talking, or if you are extremely concerned, then you should contact a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation. All children go through periods of disfluency. An SLP with expertise in the area of stuttering will help you determine if this is typical disfluency or a problem that needs to be addressed. There are many effective strategies and programs for improving fluency in young children.
Q. My child was developing quite normally until the age of 18 months; At that time, I noticed a change in his behavior. He stopped talking, didn't look at us and seemed to be in his own world. What should I do?
A. When you see that your child is no longer saying or doing things he/she was previously able to do, it is very important for you to go to your pediatrician immediately. The pediatrician will examine your child and determine whether or not he needs specific testing (neurological, psychological, hearing, speech and language). Your physician, along with these other professionals, can help you determine the best course of action for your child.
Q. Lately, I've noticed that when my little boy watches television, he turns the volume up louder and louder. Should I be concerned?
A. Yes. You should take your child to your pediatrician or an ear, nose, throat specialist for a medical examination. The audiologist is the professional who can test your child's hearing to determine if there is hearing loss, middle-ear disease or other problems. The audiologist should have a master's or doctoral degree and be licensed and certified to practice.
Q. If my child is not speaking at age 2, should I wait longer to see if he/she will begin to talk?
A. While there is a wide range of "normal" with respect to typical development, a child should be producing his/her first word around his/her first birthday (range: between 10 and 18 months) and continue adding words steadily after that. At age 2, typical children have approximately 150 to 200 expressive words and start to combine them together into two-word phrases as they grow. If a child is not talking at all by age 2, he/she would be considerably behind these typical expectations, and an evaluation is warranted.
Q. How many times per week and for how long do therapy sessions last?
A. This varies for each client and his/her abilities and communication goals. Also, the client's ability to attend to the tasks for extended periods of time may also influence the length of a session. Generally, more complex disorder(s) and a greater number of goals are associated with more frequent or longer treatment sessions.
Q. Do you also see adult clients, and what are the typical diagnoses?
A. Our speech-language pathologists are trained to work with both children and adults. Adults requiring speech and language therapy have diagnoses of stroke, stuttering, voice disorders, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, learning difficulties, laryngectomy and hearing impairment.
Q. Do I need a special referral to receive services?
A. Generally, you can contact us for services at any time. If you choose to use insurance benefits to cover the cost of an evaluation or therapy, you may be required to have a referral from your primary care physician. If your insurance is provided through Medicare, a physician referral is needed for the evaluation as well as for therapy. Treatment plans need to be approved by the physician every 90 days. For people covered under Medicaid, a referral from the physician is required for treatment. This needs to be renewed every year.
Q. At what age can a speech-language pathologist identify if my child has a speech/language delay?
A. When there are known medical issues, such as Down syndrom, hearing loss or cleft palate, speech-language pathologists are usually engaged early in the child's development. If a child appears to be developing typically but is not babbling and gesturing by 12 months and has no spontaneous words by 16 months, he/she can be evaluated by a speech-language pathologist to determine whether there is a delay. There are tests and rating scales that help the SLP assess your child's abilities based on your report and observation of the child, even when the child is under 1 year of age.
Q. Should I have my child's hearing tested?
A. Under Ohio law, newborn babies are tested at birth before they go home. At age three or four years, pediatricians will generally attempt a hearing screen at routine well child visits. Children entering kindergarten are required to have a hearing screen. After that, most school districts will continue to administer hearing screenings for elementary aged children every other year. If you ever have a concern or question about your child's hearing or speech language development, have them tested by an audiologist! Link to developmental norms (hearing test section).