HSA offers free speech and language assessments

| 14/05/2019 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

(CNS Local Life): The Health Service Authority (HSA) is offering free evaluations for speech and language disorders at their Speech Therapy Open House, set for Friday, 17 May, as part of Better Hearing and Speech Month. The authority is encouraging parents and caregivers to attend the event if they have concerns about their child’s ability to communicate since these disorders are considered among the most common disabilities in children.

Complimentary developmental screenings for children and cognitive-linguistic screenings for adults will be provided at the event, running from 8:30am-11am at the Cayman Islands Hospital’s Speech Therapy Office (behind the General Practice Building). No appointments are required.

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) evaluate and treat speech and language disorders in both children and adults, explained an HSA press release. SLPs Faith Gealey and Raven Williams are organising the HSA event; the annual observance of Better Hearing and Speech Month provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the life-altering treatments that are available, the HSA said.

“Development of strong communication skills is extremely important – and parents anxiously await their child’s first words,” said Gealey. “Yet common misconceptions remain. One is that children generally ‘grow out’ of speech or language difficulties. Unfortunately, this mistaken impression too often delays treatment.

“Of course, some children are indeed ‘late bloomers,’ yet treatment is frequently necessary, too. Good communication skills are critical, helping with behaviour, learning, reading, social skills, and friendships. It is much easier, more effective, and less costly to treat speech and language disorders early – and May is a great time to educate parents on this important point.”

Adults with speech and language disorders or their loved ones are also welcome. “Many people may not appreciate their ability to communicate until it’s lost,” said Williams. “From having your basic needs met to nurturing relationships and earning a living, communication is at the core.”

Speech and language problems in adults can result from various causes, the HSA said in the release. These include brain injury, stroke, and diseases that affect the brain such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s. They can also stem from breathing problems, cancers in the head and/or neck region and voice damage.

Anyone interested in learning more about speech therapy can attend a “Lunch and Learn” hosted by Gealey and Williams on “Speech Therapy Assessments Across the Lifespan” on Tuesday, 28 May from 11:30am-1:30pm in the Cayman Islands Hibiscus Conference Room. Continuing Medical Education credits will be available.

Since space is limited, the organisers are asking people to RSVP by emailing faith.gealey@hsa.ky by Friday, 24 May.

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Category: Local News, Medical and Health

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