Better Hearing and Speech Month & DePaul Day

By Sara Baines-Miller | Posted on: May 5, 2023

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Better Hearing and Speech Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM) is hosted by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). The ASHA is a professional organization for speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists.

BHSM is observed in May every year to raise awareness about communication disorders and the importance of early detection and intervention.

During BHSM, organizations and healthcare professionals conduct activities and events to educate the public about communication disorders and the role of speech-language pathologists and audiologists in treating them.

Early intervention is critical to avoiding delays in listening, spoken language, and even reading. The technology and early intervention services available now allow children with any degree of hearing loss to develop listening and spoken language skills with the support of their family and professional care team. It is imperative to prioritize communication health and to seek assistance if your child is experiencing difficulty with hearing, speech, or language.

DePaul Day

DePaul Day is also held during Better Hearing and Speech Month.

DePaul School is one of only 40 schools in the country that provides Listening and Spoken Language education to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Due to this and several other accolades mentioned, the Council of the City of Pittsburgh proclaimed May 19, 2014, as “DePaul School for Hearing and Speech Day” in the City of Pittsburgh. Since then, we continue to celebrate DePaul Day each May 19th.

Similar to years past, we will be doing a walk-a-thon with the kids on May 19th. Our goal is to walk around the block as many times as we can and see if we can break the previous year’s record.

Billy at the DePaul sign

Let’s Celebrate BHSM together by learning hearing and speech facts and what to look for.  

Did You Know…

  • 80% of brain development occurs in the first three years of life. Talking, reading, singing, and playing with your baby sets them up for a lifetime of success!
  • Studies have shown adults speak fewer words when using their smartphones. Find time to put down the screen and try to narrate your activities. You can teach your baby so many words!
  • Hearing loss ranks as one of the most common chronic health conditions that U.S. adults experience, affecting an estimated 48 million people nationwide. By 2050, the World Health Organization projects 1 in 4 people globally will be living with hearing loss.
  • Among school-aged children 6-19 years of age, almost 15% have some degree of hearing loss.
  • Most babies are screened as newborns for hearing loss. However, hearing difficulties can develop months or years after birth, making it critical that parents and caregivers are continually vigilant.

Six Common Signs of a Language Disorder

  1. Does not babble (4 – 6 months)
  2. Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like reaching (7 – 9 months)
  3. Does not understand what others say (10 months – 2 years)
  4. Says only a few words (19 months – 2 years)
  5. Does not put words together to make a sentence (19 months – 3 years)
  6. Speaks using words that are not easily understood by others (3-4 years)

Four Common Signs of Hearing Loss

  1. Does not alert to sound (birth – 3 months)
  2. Does not respond when you call their name (7 – 9 months)
  3. Does not follow simple directions (13 – 18 months)
  4. Shows delays in speech and language development (birth – 3 years)

Three Common Signs of a Speech Sound Disorder

  1. Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (2 – 3 years)
  2. Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (3 – 4 years)
  3. Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2 – 3 years)

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Three Commons Signs of Stuttering (Disfluency)

  1. Repeats first sounds of words – “b-b-b-ball” for “ball”
  2. Stretches sounds out – “ffffff-farm” for “farm”
  3. Shows frustration when trying to get words out

Contact Us

If you notice signs of hearing loss, speech issues, or language disorders, we are here to help. DePaul School for Hearing and Speech has been providing quality Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) education for children who are deaf or hard of hearing for more than 100 years. Please contact us and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about our school and the programs we offer.


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