Better Speech and Hearing Month May 25, 2021

I have shared several stories about my days as a speech pathologist, but I haven’t explained why.

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month to promote and inforn the publice about communication skills. Besides working with children on articulation and language skills, speech pathologists may work with cognitive deficiencies, swallowing disorders and lip reading for hearing disorders.

ASHA is the professional organization for speech pathologists and audiologists. My story today is about doing hearing screening tests with non-verbal adults.

One of my duties at the adult day care and workshop was to test all clients ears once a year for decreased hearing.

Several of my clients were elderly and quiet. I was warned about Joe and his ability to strip quickly. I walked in to see a sweet smiling older gentlemen in his 60’s . We walked back to my office with no problems

I explained the head phones and that he would would hear different tones in his ears. I would push a button. The tones would get louder and softer. Joe would push a hand button to indicate when he heard a tone.

I started with the lowest tones because they are usually the easier to hear.

I looked up between the 500 herz and 100 hertz, Joe had stripped to his birthday suit and was smiling at me.

After a moment of shock and bewilderment, I walked to the door to call for a male aid. As I waited outside the room, I was at a loss how Joe stripped in less than 30 seconds.

When the male aid arrived, he helped to dress Joe and escort him back to his group’s room. As he left, Joe wiggled his fingers in a good bye wave.

The following year, my fellow pathologist had a turn with Joe. I explained what he had done to strip in the last testing session. I don’t think she believed me but during the test, she looked up to see Joe naked and smiling. After these incidents, we had a male do the hearing test. If Joe stripped, The test could continue to the finish before calling an aid.

Joe never stripped for a male tester.

If you are experiencing a decrease in ability to hear and understand speech, it is time for a audiological evaluation. But keep your pants on!



Not what he seemed

He smiled as we walked

soft chair, wearing headphones, hears tones

I hear Joe’s button

looking up, Joe is smiling.

naked, his clothes on the floor. copyright 5/25/21

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