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Hospital news | Monday, May 21, 2018

Contact: Nicole Bollman

Sterling, IL (May 21, 2018) - Each May, during Better Hearing Month, the CGH Audiology department takes the opportunity to educate the public on hearing loss, and the role that exposure to loud noise can permanently affect your hearing. This May, CGH Speech Therapy department and CGH Audiology are celebrating Better Hearing and Speech month to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of speech therapy and hearing professionals in providing life-altering treatment.

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) speech, language and hearing disorders often go undetected and untreated for too long. Communication disorders are among the most common disabilities in children nationwide. 11% of children ages 3-6 have a speech, language, voice, or swallowing disorder, and almost 15% of school- age children experience some degree of hearing loss. CGH Audiology and the CGH Speech Therapy department urges families to learn the early signs of these disorders and seek an assessment if they have concerns.

“Communication disorders are treatable, yet all too often, we find parents are waiting longer than we’d like to bring their child in for an evaluation,” said Mary Martin, AuD, FAAA. “Timely intervention is important, as untreated speech/language and hearing disorders can lead to problems with reading and writing, academic success, social interactions, behavioral problems, and more. These disorders are highly treatable and, in some cases, can be reversed or even prevented. So, our message to parents is: If you have any concern, don’t wait and see if there is a change. Trust your instincts, and get it checked out.”

Hearing loss is evaluated and treated by audiologists. Speech and language disorders are evaluated and treated by speech-language pathologists. Warning signs of these disorders are listed below.

Language Disorders

  • Does not smile or interact with others (birth and older)
  • Does not babble (4–7 months)
  • Makes only a few sounds or gestures, like pointing (7–12 months)
  • Does not understand what others say (7 months–2 years)
  • Says only a few words (12–18 months)
  • Words are not easily understood (18 months–2 years)
  • Does not put words together to make sentences (1.5–3 years)
  • Has trouble playing and talking with other children (2–3 years)
  • Has trouble with early reading and writing skills (2½–3 years)

Speech Sound Disorders

  • Says p, b, m, h, and w incorrectly in words (1–2 years)
  • Says k, g, f, t, d, and n incorrectly in words (2–3 years)
  • Produces speech that is unclear, even to familiar people (2–3 years)

Hearing Loss

  • Shows a lack of attention to sounds (birth–1 year)
  • Does not respond when you call their name (7 months–1 year)
  • Does not follow simple directions (1–2 years)
  • Shows delays in speech and language development (birth–3 years)
  • Pulls or scratches at their ears
  • Has difficulty achieving academically, especially in reading and math
  • Is socially isolated and unhappy at school
  • Has persistent ear discomfort after exposure to loud noise (regular and constant listening to electronics at high volumes)

Families can learn more about these signs, get tips for helping their child, and find a searchable database of the professionals who treat communication disorders at Sauk Valley residents who want to schedule an assessment may contact CGH Speech Therapy at (815) 625-0400, ext. 4458 or CGH Audiology, (815) 632-5400 or visit


The CGH Speech Therapy department offers services for the following:

  • Aphasia: An inability to understand speech or express thoughts with speech characterizes this condition, which is commonly caused by stroke or brain tumor.
  • Cognitive Communication Impairments: Underlying attention, memory, abstract reasoning or
    problem-solving deficits characterize these issues, which are possibly related to stroke, brain injury, or underlying disease.
  • Dysarthria: This form of speech is slurred or slow, and it can be caused by neurological injuries such as stroke.
  • Vocal Quality Concerns: People with these issues have vocal tones that are too loud or too soft, and those issues are commonly caused by vocal abuse or cancer. CGH is proud to offer Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) LOUD certified speech therapy services for patient struggling with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions.
  • Swallowing Difficulty (Dysphagia): The nerves and muscles that impact your ability to speak clearly may also play a role in your ability to manipulate food and swallow it without choking. Our therapists can assist people who have these chewing and swallowing disorders.
  • Pediatric Speech/Language and Feeding Therapy

Speech Therapy Hours and Locations:

  • Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.,(815-625-0400, ext. 4458)
  • Outpatient Services - CGH Locust Street MedicalCenter, at 1809 N. Locust Ave., Sterling
  • Outpatient Services - CGH Morrison Medical Center, at 105 S. Heaton Street, Morrison
  • Inpatient Services - CGH Medical Center,at 100 E. LeFevre Road, Sterling

CGH Main Clinic Audiology Hours and Location:

  • Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., (815-632-5400),CGH Main Clinic, 101 E. Miller Rd., Sterling