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Communications Services
303 Administration Building
Memphis, TN 38152
Phone: 901/678-2843
Fax: 901/678-3607


Campaign Highlights Importance of Early Detection of Communication Disorders

Contact: Gabrielle Maxey

May 28, 2014 - With the nationwide launch of the public awareness campaign “Identify the Signs” by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), the Memphis Speech and Hearing Center encourages parents, caregivers, and others to educate themselves about the early warning signs of speech, language and hearing disorders. The campaign includes a variety of multimedia resources designed specifically for consumers and stems from ASHA’s new findings that identify lack of awareness of the early warning signs as the leading barrier to early detection and treatment.

Results of a recent survey of ASHA’s membership revealed that 45 percent of expert respondents reported lack of awareness as the number one barrier to early detection of communication disorders. Research has shown that early detection is critical to treating, and oftentimes reversing, communication disorders. Delayed treatment can result in isolation, poor academic or career performance and delayed development.

“As a clinic with several certified speech-language pathologists and audiologists, we see how delayed intervention impacts the people of Memphis every single day,” said Dr. Maurice Mendel, dean  of the University of Memphis’ School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and director of the Memphis Speech and Hearing Center. “ASHA’s campaign has great potential to help the public identify and act on the early warning signs of communication disorders, allowing people to get the most effective treatment for the best chance at improved quality of life.”

ASHA’s campaign consists of English and Spanish television, radio and print public service announcements distributed to outlets across the country. In addition, the effort includes an online banner ad and features a campaign website highlighting the early warning signs of speech, language and hearing disorders, as well as consumer resources for treatment and help.

“Far too many people in Memphis — and across the country — suffer from communication disorders. This campaign has the ability to reduce that number by helping people to identify the first signs of these disorders and seek professional help immediately,” said Mendel.

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Last Updated: 4/15/15