For over 90 years, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s (ASHA) has dedicated the month of May to raising awareness for communication disorders through Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM). This year’s BHSM theme is “Communication across the Lifespan” to show communication disorders span all ages and can take various forms.

In March, ASHA commissioned a national poll to examine the awareness of communication disorders in parents of children from birth through eight-years-old. The study showed that one in four parents of U.S. children have had concerns about their child’s ability to communicate.

ASHA - Identify the Signs of Comm. Disorders
Just 23% of parents were able to correctly identify 75% or more of the signs of communication disorders provided in the survey. And just five percent were able to correctly identify all of the signs of communication disorders provided.

Additionally, nine in 10 parents correctly identified activities that have a positive impact on communication skills, such as talking/having verbal interactions with others and being read to by family members. However, only 46% reported reading to their children five to seven days a week.

The Speech-Language Institute (SLI) of Salus University is dedicated to educating those impacted with communication disorders. “We consistently work with our graduate students to understand that parents' or caregivers’ insight are critical to determining the communication needs of their children,” said Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP, SLI director. “Early intervention is crucial in determining outcomes in communication and swallowing disorders.  If parents feel like their child is not progressing through milestones as their other children did or as compared to other kids in the neighborhood playgroup, getting that assessment now really benefits the child.”

If you feel your child may need a speech assessment, contact SLI to make an appointment.  

In honor of BHSM, SLI will be providing speech-language screenings at the Active Older Adult Wellness Expo at the Ambler Area YMCA on Wednesday, May 29th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The event is open to the community so we encourage you to come by and receive your free screening!

Check out below for a special BHSM episode of the University’s “Health and Science Starts Here” podcast featuring Robert Serianni, MS, CCC-SLP.

For more information on BHSM, visit