With Help From Speech-Language Pathologists, Louisiana’s Impoverished Children Could Avoid Some Long-Term Struggles As Poverty Rates Surge
Research To Be Released At New Orleans Convention Highlights Impact Of Poverty On The Development Of Communication Skills
(NEW ORLEANS, LA – November 19, 2009) Statistics from a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey indicate that the rate of poverty is drastically increasing, especially in the southern states and among children. In 2008, 13.2% of Americans were living below the poverty rate—compared with 12.5% rate in 2007. These statistics suggest an even higher rate for 2009.
In Louisiana, at least 16.5% of the population lives in poverty, and approximately 27% are children.
Children living in poverty are at risk for language development delays. Left untreated, lack of communication development can adversely affect children in all aspects of their lives.
New research suggests that speech-language pathologists are uniquely suited to provide appropriate assessments and interventions that target the language- and literacy-related needs of young children under the age of 6 living in poverty. This research by ASHA members Emily Rusnak and Tim Brackenbury will be presented during the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) National Convention in New Orleans this week.
Research into the effects of poverty on early language development is particularly important, given the strong role of oral language development in the development of literacy skills and in overall academic achievement. Children in poverty are at greater risk for poorer long-term outcomes, and the effects of poverty on communication skills have been noted as early as 14 months of age.
Rusnak and Brackenbury also will discuss a feasibility study they are developing that will focus on increasing parents’ knowledge of child development, use of communication and interaction skills that promote early language development, and promotion of language development in the home setting and community.
The researchers will discuss their findings on Thursday, November 19, at 11:00 a.m. in room 393 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (Understanding the Role of Poverty in Early Language Development, Presentation 1261).
Their presentation is part of ASHA’s National Convention, which begins November 19 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The Convention will feature 3 days of workshops, paper sessions, and poster presentations, plus a keynote address by stage and screen star Ben Vereen, who will speak to the audience about how speech-language pathologists helped him find his way back to speech after a serious accident. The Convention runs through Saturday, November 21.
These important findings are one example of the research being discussed during ASHA’s National Convention. Audiologists and speech-language pathologists as well as other speech and hearing scientists gather every year at ASHA’s Convention to share their research with their colleagues. This sharing of information results in better care for those people they serve.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for more than 135,000 audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and language problems including swallowing disorders.
View all ASHA press releases at www.asha.org/about/news.
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