Today’s Parent Tip of the Week is brought to
you by Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center.
Did you know that an estimated 40 million Americans experience speech, language, and/or hearing disorders?
Without the ability to communicate you…
- …wouldn’t be able to get a job. All jobs — from ditch-digger to CEO — require the ability to convey information. Your effectiveness at work, including interpersonal skills, is rooted in your approach to communicating with people. Hearing what is being said by the client; conveying goals to your team; listening to your boss’ instructions; understanding your objectives — all require your ability to communicate effectively.
- …wouldn’t be able to signal for help. You finally got to take that trip to Italy — only to find yourself lost in a strange town. How can you ask for help? Being unable to communicate a need can be scary, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.
- …wouldn’t be able to learn. Who doesn’t love curling up with a good book? Reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic all require the ability to understand the meaning of letters, words and numbers. Literacy is tied to communication, as is all learning.
- …wouldn’t be able to manage a bank account. Keeping your checkbook balanced may seem like an ongoing challenge — but imagine if you had no understanding of the complexities of deposits, withdrawals and other bank-related formulas. The same is true of other complex issues — legal documents, contracts, warranties.
- …wouldn’t be able to express your ideas or feelings. As recent politics showed us, people have strong opinions and ideas about what they want for themselves, their families and their futures. Everyone wants to feel that their opinion matters. But first, they need to able to communicate that opinion.
- …wouldn’t be able to socialize. Statistics show that people with hearing loss, aphasia (loss of language) or other communication challenges tend to withdraw more and distance themselves more from social situations. This creates a downward spiral where they feel lonely and depressed. Statistics show that socializing with friends, family and groups not only keeps the brain sharp, but improves overall health and wellbeing.
- …wouldn’t be able to explain a problem. When the car engine starts making that weird noise or the faucet won’t stop dripping, it’s time to schedule maintenance. This requires the ability to find the appropriate source of help, communicate the issue and arrange for repair.
- …wouldn’t be able to call or text a friend. It’s true that communication isn’t always verbal — texting is a form of communicating. But if you were both deaf and blind and had not been given alternate methods of communicating, you might never experience the simple pleasure of a friendly chat.
- …wouldn’t be able to live independently. As we’ve mentioned, without the ability to communicate and understand complex ideas such as banking, living independently would be nearly impossible. Add to that the inability to navigate a bus schedule or pay utility bills and you would feel completely dependent on others for your life’s needs.
- …wouldn’t be able to say “I love you.” Although hugs and kisses convey as much heartfelt meaning as the words “I love you,” it is not always possible to express feelings in a physical way, and not every relationship is a physical one. Communication is the greatest gift we have and can give to each other.
Most of us take our ability to communicate effectively for granted. Unless or until something changes our ability, we pay very little attention to it. But knowing that services and programs exist to help those who need it — when they need it — is key to the mission of Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center. Whether it is the family whose infant did not pass its hearing test at the hospital, the child who stutters, the stroke survivor who needs speech therapy, the deaf individual who needs an American Sign Language interpreter, or the Baby Boomer who is beginning to notice a hearing loss — these and many others find the help they need at CHSC.
If you or someone you know has a communication issue, visit chsc.org or call 216-231-8787.