Communication disorders can have lifelong health effects – where is the answer? – Croakey Health Media

Communication disorders have a huge impact on health, Tricia McCabe says, and more efforts are needed to help children, families and others affected. Professor of speech therapy at the University of Sydney.

“Imagine if we paid for more and better services for children and youth with communication disabilities,” said McCabe, recently the head of Croakey’s @WePublicHealth Twitter account. Below is a summary of his tweets, including links to many useful resources.


Tricia McCabe writes:

I will cover the intersection between communication disorders and public health using the hashtag #CommSDoH, starting by sharing information about what we mean by a communication disorder and going from there.

Communication disorders (disturbances, limitations) occur when humans have difficulty receiving a message from others. This can happen due to sensory impairment (hearing loss, deafness, visual impairment) as they have difficulty interpreting the message.

Difficulty interpreting someone else’s message can arise for a variety of reasons, including illness, injury, development, or the environment. Understanding what is being said to you depends on understanding the content, structure and purpose of the message.

Understanding the content requires knowing the vocabulary and sounds of the language. We also need to understand the word order and the structure (grammar) of what has been said.

Finally, we need to understand the tone of voice, pitch, rhythm and volume of speech, which gives us the emotion and purpose of what has been said (or written). It is a simple explanation of understanding as we will see.

In addition to understanding, human communication involves being able to construct a message that others will easily interpret. This may require effective use of voice, speech, language (vocabulary, grammar, etc.), facial expression, gesture, sign or writing.

To be an effective communicator, we also need to understand how others will interpret our message. These comprehension and expression skills develop over the course of our lives and are an integral part of our social and economic success (more on this later).

Finally, the environment that surrounds a person must allow him to communicate and to interpret his communication as meaningful and important.

Thought experiment

So let’s do a thought experiment: What happens in your life if you can’t communicate effectively?

Children who have speech and language delays (for whatever reason) hear fewer words spoken to them; hear more instructions and have fewer opportunities to start conversations. The words and phrases they hear are simpler, often “morons.”

If you start life with a delay or a communication disability, you are often more likely to be less literate and therefore more likely to leave school earlier.

The combination of not understanding classroom instructions, or being teased or intimidated for not understanding or communicating in the same way as your peers can lead to actions in the classroom, leading to exclusion from school.

Children and youth with communication disabilities are more likely to be involved in the juvenile justice system than their peers.

Children and youth with communication disabilities are also at greater risk for mental health problems than their peers.

In recent years, health economists like Dr Paula Cronin at UTS have shown that mothers of children with language delay earn less than parents of normally developing children. I should note that this is when all other variables are taken into account.

Going back to our thought experiment, what happens in your life if you have a communication disorder?

In my own work with people with severe speech impairments, as adults, they report:

  • Earn less than their friends
  • Less educated and less literate than their siblings
  • Adults with a lifelong history of speech impairment are more likely to have clinical anxiety and the poorer their speech in adulthood, the poorer the anxiety they report.

Injustices

Above, I described the communication disability as having many faces. One is the difficulty in understanding someone’s communicative intent, making inferences from word choice, tone of voice, and facial expression. This is a type of pragmatic communication disorder.

And pragmatic communication disorders do not interact well with the legal system.

For people with communication disabilities, there are a number of additional factors that further hamper their ability to participate in society.

  1. Self-advocacy can be difficult. If you have difficulty communicating, it can be difficult to understand how to present your case.
  2. People with communication disabilities may find the forms, bureaucratic language, or the language of the legal system difficult to interpret.
  3. If you are a parent with a communication disability, you may find it difficult to stand up for your children. This can be a double whammy when it comes to organizations like NDIS.
  4. Unfortunately, services for people with communication disabilities, such as speech therapy, tend to be unevenly distributed with a well-known “postcode lottery”.
  5. The Matthew effect applies here. Families in the richer places have better access to services and there the effect of the communication disorder may be improved compared to those in poorer places who share fewer resources and benefit less from the reduced service.
  6. Speech-language pathologists use rationing of services as a strategy to manage heavy workloads. The effect in richer communities is a drift towards private services, the effect in poorer communities is a long delay before assistance.
  7. The cumulative effect is delayed access to services in the early years, which leads to decreased academic achievement and an increased risk of socio-economic precariousness throughout life.
  8. Hearing health is affected by overcrowded or unstable housing, access to clean water and sanitation. Poverty causes ear diseases. Ear diseases lead to poor understanding, poor attention and poor participation in school.
  9. And as with language development disorders, poor hearing health leads to reduced literacy, early school leaving, and greater interaction with the justice system. #CommSDoH not understanding = disadvantage.

  1. By some estimates, one in three people in the justice system has a communication disability (see: https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi435)
  2. So imagine if we paid for more and better services for children and youth with communication disabilities.

Another useful resource is the @orygen_aus Guide to Mental Health and Communication Disorders.

And @SpeechPathAus To a range of information sheets on these issues to download.

Shared resources

Click here to see the article mentioned in the tweet below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the tweet below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the link below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the link below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the link below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the link below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the link below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the twee below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the tweet below.

Click here to see the article mentioned in the tweet below.Click here to see the article mentioned in the tweet below.

Click here to see the link mentioned below.
(watch the video below)

Click here to see the story mentioned below.


View our archive of disability and health stories.

Support our public interest journalism, for health.

Subscribe

Make a donation

Other ways to support.


Source link

About Walter Edwards

Check Also

Global ENT Device Market Growth Forecast 2021-2026: Hearing Aid Segment Forecast to Reach $ 7.2 Billion by 2026, Registering a CAGR of 4.5% – ResearchAndMarkets.com

DUBLIN – (COMMERCIAL THREAD)–The “Global ENT devices market 2021-2026” the report was added to ResearchAndMarkets.com …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *