Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Center Celebrates 96 Years of Serving the Greater St. Louis Community

Happy birthday to us! This Week, the Center for Hearing & Speech turns 96 years old.

The Center was originally founded in 1920 as the League for the Hard of Hearing and has been improving the lives of people with communication disorders in St. Louis ever since.

Stuttering Foundation Encourages Use of the Free "I Stutter" Identification Card

This week kicks off multiple events around the world focusing on International Stuttering Awareness. At this time, our Center doubles its efforts to educate, increase acceptance and help eliminate any stigma around stuttering.

If you or someone you love stutters, consider printing and using this "I Stutter Card." The Stuttering Foundation designed it to help people identify themselves in a nonverbal way as someone who may have trouble speaking.

Read More… 

The New Yorker Reviews the Oscar-Winning Short Film, “Stutterer” About Anxiety, Love & Living With Stuttering

The new Screening Room short, “Stutterer,” won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film this year. It’s a thirteen-minute movie about a young London typographer named Greenwood (Matthew Needham). Greenwood stutters, to the extent that verbal conversation is difficult. When he tries to resolve an issue with a service representative over the phone, he can’t get the words out; the operator, gruff and impatient, hangs up. (For surliness, she rivals the operator in the old Yaz song.) When a woman approaches Greenwood on the street, he uses sign language to avoid talking. But in his thoughts, which we hear, he does not stutter. And when he chats online with a woman named Ellie (Chloe Pirrie) he can express himself freely, and is casual, charming, and content. When Ellie writes that she’s coming to London, he panics. How he navigates her visit provides the film’s narrative and emotional suspense.

The writer and director of “Stutterer,” Benjamin Cleary, is a thirty-two-year-old graduate of University College Dublin and of the London Film School. He now lives in Dublin. Cleary is not a stutterer himself.

Read More…

Insects Help Researchers Blend Biology, Medicine and Engineering to Develop Better Hearing Aids

The human ear is a miracle of mechanical evolution. It allows us to hear an astonishing range of sounds and to communicate and navigate in the world. It’s also easy to damage and difficult to repair. Hearing aids are still large, uncomfortable and as yet unable to deliver the rich and wonderful sounds we take for granted. Yet there may be a new way for us to replace damaged hearing from an unlikely source – the insect world.

Spend a summer in the countryside in a warm climate and you’ll likely hear crickets chirping, males of the species “singing” in an attempt to attract a female. What’s surprising is how small the creatures are given the very high sound levels they produce. Could studying crickets allow us to learn something about how to design a small speaker that is also loud, just as you need for a hearing aid?

Read More…

Once Upon a Time, “Head of Shrewmouse, Stomach of Goat, Shell of Tortoise" Treated Deafness

According to the Oxford Academic (Oxford University Press), there is little agreement on when the particular branch of science known as ‘audiology’ really begins. Much depends upon one’s view of what constitutes audiology. Definitions vary slightly but basically all agree that audiology is the science, study, measurement, or treatment of hearing, hearing loss, and associated disorders. Although the word ‘audiology’ itself seems not to have come into use until after World War II, the study of hearing and hearing defects began many centuries before.

Read more…

Does My Toddler Have Normal Speech & Hearing Development?

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has common guidelines for kids’ development. If you have questions or concerns call the Center at 314-968-4710 and schedule an evaluation for your child.


Fox2Now Hosts Center's Chief Speech-Language Pathologist on National Stuttering Awareness Day

As part of October's National Stuttering Awareness effort, the Center for Hearing and Speech is working to educate the  St. Louis area on the truth about stuttering. This weekend, Chief Speech-Language Pathologist Gina Cato discussed with FOX 2 that stuttering is often surrounded by a number of misconceptions.

People stutter in many different ways. For example, while some people repeat sounds while talking, other individuals who stutter have silent blocks that cause hesitations and gaps in their speech. Society has developed a stereotypical perception of stuttering, Cato explained, and this misunderstanding can often lead to a misdiagnosis from the public. In the end, it is important to remember that stuttering is simply the disruption of fluent speech. And no matter how an individual may stutter, individualized treatment is available to help overcome these obstacles.  


October is Aphasia Awareness Month

According to, language disorders can make it difficult for kids to understand what people are saying to them and to express their own thoughts and feelings through speech. They can also affect how kids learn and socialize. If you’re concerned your child has a language disorder, you’re not alone. They’re surprisingly common childhood conditions. And there are many ways to treat them.
Learning more about language disorders is a good first step toward helping your child. Read on for key facts about language disorders and suggestions for how you can help your child.
Read More…

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pittsburgh Symphony Venue Enhances Sound for Audience Hearing Aids

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, audience members who have assistive hearing devices will be able to hear the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and other performers at Heinz Hall with greater ease.
The Downtown venue is the first theater in Western Pennsylvania to install an electromagnetic hearing loop.
Installed in August, the Dauler Hearing Loop encapsulates much of the Heinz Hall auditorium, along with the box office. The wire is connected to a sound system that electromagnetically transmits sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants that have a telecoil, or t-coil. Patrons who use such devices need to enable their t-coils at the hall. The system eliminates most background noise, the symphony said. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

New Study Suggests Hearing Aids May Help Lessen Cognitive Decline

According to Audiology Today, since communication difficulties are one of the earliest signs of dementia, audiologists are poised to make timely and appropriate referrals when necessary, which can improve long-term outcomes by allowing earlier diagnosis and management of cognitive decline.

Cognitive decline and hearing loss is a current hot topic in audiology. While recent findings offer compelling incentives for adult patients to make the jump to accept hearing aids, we must be careful to present the information accurately to patients and avoid unintentionally using misinformation as a scare tactic. Let’s look at what we know.

Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults, and we know that very few people have no cognitive decline with age. This presents a large overlap of older adults with both hearing loss and cognitive decline; a population  which will only grow with the aging of today’s adults. In 2010, 4.7 million people in the U.S. older than age 65 had the most common form of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease. In 2016, that number grew to 5.4 million; and in 2050, 13.8 million Americans are expected to have Alzheimer’s.


New Smartphone-Based Tech Aims to Protect the Hearing of Concert Goers

The Center promotes proper hearing protection for all ages and pursuits.

In an age of super-loud rock concerts, the makers of EarDial are launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign today to raise money for their discreet and comfortable hearing protection.

They can replace foam ear plugs and are especially designed for ear-splitting live music. The EarDial plugs serve as high-fidelity filters that allow you to enjoy music and still chat with friends without messing up the quality of the sound. They’re almost invisible when you put them in your ears, and they come with a compact silver carrying case.


Actress Emily Blunt Beats Stuttering By Using a Fake Accent On Stage

Actress Emily Blunt struggled with stuttering early in her life. A teacher encouraged her to act in a school play at age 12 despite her stuttering.

Blunt’s name is prominently featured on the Stuttering Foundation's list of Famous People Who Stutter
Emily Blunt burst into the limelight with her brilliant performance in the 2006 movie The Devil Wears Prada, but had gained attention previously with My Summer of Love in 2004. Emily Blunt’s journey to fame began in London on February 23, 1983 when she was born to barrister Oliver Blunt and her teacher mother, who herself had enjoyed an acting career on stage and television before marrying and having a family. Emily’s uncle is Crispin Blunt, the well-known Conservative Member of Parliament. Blunt’s early life was filled with many fun activities at which she excelled, such as singing, playing cello and horseback riding. However, Blunt never considered following in her mother’s footsteps in acting because of her stuttering.


MIT Pioneers Automated Screening for Childhood Communication Disorders

Massachusetts Institute of Technology students are developing new tech to expand screening for language disorders. Smartphones and tablets could help early detection efforts, which is vital for treatment.

For children with speech and language disorders, early-childhood intervention can make a great difference in their later academic and social success. But many such children — one study estimates 60 percent — go undiagnosed until kindergarten or even later.

According to MIT News, researchers at the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute of Health Professions hope to change that, with a computer system that can automatically screen young children for speech and language disorders and, potentially, even provide specific diagnoses.