Start the Conversation Speech Pathology Week 2013


25 - 31 August

Over 1.1 million Australians have difficulty communicating RIGHT NOW - yet their needs are largely ignored.

  • Communication is vital to life
    Communication disorders limit a person's ability to participate fully in family life, their community, education and the world of work.
  • Communication professionals make a critical difference
    Without access to key services, people with communication disorders are at a lifelong disadvantage.
  • Early intervention is key 
    Research shows that early identification and intervention programs create positive results over a lifetime for children with communication difficulties and society as a whole.
Did you know that almost the same number of people have trouble eating a meal or swallowing a drink safely?
Did you know that these communication and swallowing problems have far-reaching, life-changing and life limiting consequences?

If you didn’t know any of these things, It is time to Start the Conversation.

Speech Pathology Week is the annual week that raises awareness about the hundreds of thousands of Australians who live with a communication or swallowing difficulty, as well as the professionals who work with them to improve or regain their quality of life.
This year speech pathologists around the country will be starting the conversation with you about the significant and often preventable disadvantage that people with communication and swallowing difficulties face each day.
They want you to know that these people are over-represented in the youth justice system and are much more likely to experience an adverse event in hospital. They also want you to know that they have poorer health, educational and vocational outcomes and are more prone to mental health problems than other Australians.
They also want you to know that for many, if not most people, their outcomes can be substantially improved with the right services and the right supports.

Communication and Swallowing Facts
  • All children with autism and most children with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy begin their life with a communication impairment
  • 20% of four year old children have difficulty understanding or using language
  • 14% of 15 year olds have only basic literacy skills
  • 28% of teachers take time off work each year because of voice problems
  • At least 30% of people post-stroke suffer loss of language (aphasia)
  • 85% of those with Parkinson’s disease have voice, speech and/or swallowing difficulties
  • 13,000 Australians use electronic communication aids to get their message across
  • Children with a language impairment are six times more likely to have a reading problem than children without
  • 46% of young Australian offenders have a language impairment
  • There is a high correlation between communication difficulties and poor mental health
  • Three in every 1,000 newborns have hearing loss, which without intervention can affect their speech, language and literacy. Indigenous children have three times more hearing problems than non-Indigenous children

Healesville Speeech Pathology is committed to improving the lives of children in the local community and district of Yarra Ranges and beyond.
I have personally seen the lives of individuals with communication and learning difficulties improve through the concerted efforts of those who
are ready to “Start the Conversation”.
Happy Speech Pathology Week


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