Each year during the month of May, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) highlights Better Hearing & Speech Month to raise awareness about communication disorders. The 2016 theme "Communication Takes Care" serves to heighten awareness about the importance of face-to-face communication, and encourages the public to make time for device-free interaction when possible.
Last year, ASHA polled 1,000 parents of children ages 0-8. Sixty-eight percent of surveyed parents' 2-year-olds use tablets, 59% use smartphones, and 44% use video game consoles. The importance of human communication - speaking, listening, and interacting - is paramount to children's overall development, including academic and social success. Human interaction is especially important in the present age of technology, where smartphones and other devices occupy an ever-increasing amount of time, attention, and prominence in the lives of individuals from infants to teens. For more information and resources about communication development and disorders including early detection, visit ASHA's website at http://www.asha.org/ and http://identifythesigns.org/.