Charlotte Lundee (left)

Charlotte Lundee (left)

This May: speak well, hear well, live well

During Speech and Hearing Month, local speech and language pathologists and audiologists will share information on services.

May is Speech and Hearing Month, and local speech and language pathologists and audiologists from the Child Development Centre (CDC), Interior Health and School District #27 invite the public to find out more about the range of speech and hearing services available in the Cariboo.

To celebrate Speech and Hearing Month, this dedicated group of professionals has put together beautiful and unique gift baskets for the community, filled with items generously donated by local businesses.

There are specialized gift baskets for babies born at Cariboo Memorial Hospital during the month of May.

There are also two large summer-themed gift baskets for families available through a free raffle, with draw boxes at places like Interior Health, CDC and the public library.

Local speech, language and hearing professionals include Julia Hodder, speech and language pathologist at CDC; Charlotte Lundee and Heather Awmack, speech and language pathologists at School District #27; Katie Young, audiologist with Interior Health; Alys Wardlaw, speech and language pathologist with Interior Health and Holly Rutherford, speech and language pathology student from UBC in Williams Lake for a five-week practicum.

Young explained that Speech and Hearing month highlights important issues for parents, families and communities.

“Communication is highly personal for all ages from babies to seniors, and that you can have issues where you need support,” she said.

“People need to know where they can access that support.”

“Those skills are important in all kinds of development and in all aspects of life. So many people are affected by communication disorders, and identifying them is the first step in addressing them,” she said.

“A lot of times people associate speech with intelligence and personality.”

Wardlaw added that public awareness and understanding is very important when it comes to communication barriers.

“Without public understanding a person can feel very isolated,” she explained. “Without awareness and understanding they don’t just feel it: they are isolated.”

Young added that people can’t see hearing loss and they often don’t understand it.

“People with hearing loss have to listen harder and it’s a struggle, even with hearing aids.

“Two people can have the same level of hearing loss, but it will impact them very differently,” she said.

“Even a mild hearing loss isn’t mild in their lives.”

A child between birth and 19 years of age can get free support for speech, language and hearing.

Awmak said that early intervention is very important, and the younger the child is the bigger gain you usually see and the smoother the transition to school.

She added all Kindergarten students in the district are screened for speech and language and that pathologists work with the kids with the highest needs.

“Preschool screening is so important because the earlier the needs are identified, the sooner services can be put in place,” she said.

The group explained that if you have concerns about your preschool child’s speech and language development, you can talk to the local Speech and Language Pathologist at Interior Health or at the Child Development Centre, and that if you have concerns about your child’s hearing, you can speak to your local audiologist at Interior Health.

Anybody can refer, and you do not need to see your doctor first.  If your child is attending school and you have concerns about your child’s communication skills, you are encouraged to speak to your child’s teacher.

Wardlaw said that when it comes to speech and language the family role is crucial.

“Talk and sing and play with children from birth,” she suggested.

“You and your baby use language, hearing and motor skills while creating a wonderful bond between you.”

“There is shortage of services for adults and families in our community,” Lundee said.

“The need is great. Autism is on the rise and takes up a lot of our case loads and we are short-handed,” she said.

There is currently a vacancy for a speech pathologist at the school district, she adds.

“Our community is unique and the areas we serve are huge,” said Young. “It’s the size of New Brunswick. We cover the Chilcotin to Alexandria and Big Lake to 100 Mile House.”

One aspect of speech that these pathologists work with is articulation — forming sounds. Problems with articulation can be a result of permanent hearing loss, or fluctuating hearing loss that comes because of something like an ear infection.

Other conditions that affect articulation are a cleft palate or lip, difficulty with muscle development — things that can be tied with language development.

The cases they work with can range from something like a minor lisp or a stutter to a child unable to speak without a computer.

“Language is a simple system of how we communicate,” Wardlaw said.

“Without it we can’t communicate. It is carried in your brain and is connected to your thoughts,” she explained.

“Language can be separate from speech: it can be sign language, written language or body language.”

Interior Health and Child Development Centre speech and language pathologists see clients in their homes, at preschools and daycare centres, in the community and in their individual clinics.

School district pathologists see kids in their schools, and the Interior Health audiologist sees clients at the health unit and does an early hearing program for newborns at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

They said that their work is very rewarding — watching kids progress over time, and empowering families to help their own child.

“It’s very satisfying to see a child become verbal and able to connect with another person,” Hodder said, “and to watch the isolation come to an end.”

“I had one mom phone me two years after we worked with her child to say thank you,” Wardlaw said.

Young added that it’s always amazing to see the incredible diversity in the kids she sees.

“Communication is fun,” Lundee stated.

“You come out of a session with a child feeling energized. Sometimes kids say things that are so funny and it makes your day.

“‘Aha’ moments are precious and they do happen.”

For more information about speech, language and hearing services offered in the Williams Lake area, phone the CDC at 250-392-4481, Public Health at 250-302-5030 or SD#27 at 250-398-3855.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

A Cariboo Regional District director and School District 27 trustee, Angie Delainey is also a fourth generation business owner in downtown Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Angie Delainey appointed Cariboo Regional District representative on regional board

Delainey and Steve Forseth represent the CRD at the North Central Local Government Association

Pauline Schmutz, 75, receives her COVID-19 vaccine from public health nurse Donna McKenzie on Tuesday, April 13 at the community clinic at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics scheduled for Horsefly, Big Lake

Anyone 18 and over who has not received a vaccine yet is encouraged to register

The Cariboo Regional District. (Angie Mindus photo)
Industrial park slated for Watch Lake Road

Building company Omnitek to start building new plant on 32-acre site

Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort on Puntzi Lake has been purchased by Tsideldel First Nation. (Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort photo)
Tsideldel First Nation buys Kokanee Bay Fishing Resort at Puntzi Lake

“It’s a good opportunity for the band, our children and our future,” said Chief Otis Guichon

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read