TIMS Medical Urges Action on
Communication and Swallowing Difficulties During Better Hearing and Speech Month
Disorders Affect People of All Ages, From Newborns to Older Adults
(Chelmsford, MA – May 18, 2022) – As today is National Speech Pathologist Day (#NationalSpeechPathologistDay), and May is national Better Hearing and Speech Month (#BHSM), TIMS Medical is using this year’s observances to encourage Americans to seek an evaluation for a communication or swallowing disorder if they have concerns about themselves, a child, or another loved one. These disorders are common in children as well as in adults—yet many don’t know that they are treatable by Speech-Language Pathologists.
“Having supported thousands of SLPs across the U.S. since 2005, we’ve seen that Speech-Language Pathologists work with people every day in settings that include schools, private practices, healthcare facilities, and even patients’ own homes to improve their speech, language, social, and cognitive skills,” said Mark Mariotti, President and CEO at TIMS Medical. “A person’s communication skills are critical at each stage of life—for young children, as a strong foundation for language and literacy; for school-aged children, as a requirement for academic and social success; and for adults, as a key part of their career and personal relationships.”
Mariotti continued: “Even less well known is the role that speech-language pathologists play in helping people to swallow and eat safely. Again, problems in these areas can occur across the age span, but at any stage, safe swallowing and eating are essential to a person’s health and quality of life.”
Communication and swallowing disorders may occur for a variety of reasons. In children, this may be due to low birth weight, congenital syndromes, developmental disorders, and injuries or illnesses. In adults, they are common in those who have had a stroke, brain injury, head and neck cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases. Although the specific challenges that people experience can vary significantly, one commonality is that most people can improve with the help of Speech-Language Pathologists.
Here are some specific areas where Speech-Language Pathologists work with students, patients, and clients:
- Speech—People with speech problems may not say sounds clearly or smoothly. This may make it difficult for others to understand them.
- Language—A person with a language disorder may have problems with expressing themselves, understanding others, and reading and/or writing.
- Cognition—This can involve difficulties with attention, memory, problem-solving abilities, organizational skills, and judgment.
- Voice—Hoarseness, breathiness, pain, frequent coughing, and other problems with a person’s voice may result from medical problems or from overuse or misuse (certain professions—like teachers, musicians, and coaches—are at greater risk).
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication—People may need or choose to use other ways to communicate besides talking. These include no- or low-tech and high-tech options such as pointing or gesturing, using picture boards, and using speech-generating devices.
- Feeding and Swallowing—Difficulties may include coughing or gagging during meals, food or liquid leaking from the mouth, or food getting stuck in the mouth or throat. These difficulties may occur due to preterm birth, developmental disabilities, medical conditions, and illness and injury.
- Gender-Affirming Voice and Communication—This area may focus on pitch, tone, vocal health, nonverbal communication, and more.
- Communication Coaching—Some SLPs help with public speaking and communication style, which may include learning another accent.
“As a Corporate Sponsor of The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, TIMS Medical is aligned with ASHA in educating and supporting its 223,000 members and affiliates, as well as joining them each year in promoting Better Hearing and Speech Month,” said Mariotti.
More information about speech, language, and swallowing disorders is available at https://www.asha.org/public.
About TIMS Medical
TIMS Medical is a division of Foresight Imaging LLC focused on finished medical devices for the recording, editing, archiving, and real-time collaboration on medical imaging studies. Applications include FEES and modified barium swallow studies for swallowing disorder evaluations, endoscopy, interventional radiology, ultrasound, surgery, DICOM & PACS/VNA connectivity, and much more. Over 5,000 systems are installed in hospitals, imaging centers, and medical schools worldwide. For further information, visit www.tims.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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