City proclaims March as Speech and Hearing month

Jodi
Jodi Schellenberg
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Speech and hearing are two important topics for the Royal Purple and Elks.

On Thursday morning at City Hall, four members of the Royal Purple along with Coun. Don Cody raised a flag in honour of May being proclaimed Speech and Hearing month in Prince Albert.

“We look after children,” member Fran LaFaver said. “We send money for children who need to be accessed early. They need to be accessed as early as possible so they can get implants or whatever they need so they can hear, talk and be like the rest of us.”

LaFaver said the local Royal Purple looks after children up to 19 years old.

“The provincial association does anyone from 19 on, they look after them,” she added.

According to the Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC), hearing and communication are critical to a child’s development and any impairment can have an effect on other aspects of a child’s life.

“One of 10 children born in Canada has difficulty hearing or speaking,” said a Royal Purple press release. “Communications is a vital link between human beings. In the young, hearing loss cuts a child off from normal social development.

“Like many ailments, the sooner a child with hearing or speech problem can be identified and start appropriate treatment, the better the resulting communication and social skills,” the release continued. “Through our ears we gain much of our information about others and the world around us.”

If hearing problems are left undiagnosed or untreated, especially during the first years of life, the hearing loss can result in language, cognitive, academic, social and emotional difficulties, according to SAC.

The Royal Purple suggests if someone suspects a child has hearing loss or a speech problem, to contact a physician, audiologist or speech language pathologist.

LaFaver said the Royal Purple has been involved in this cause as long as she can remember.

“I’ve been in the lodge now for 30-some odd years and it has always been here,” she said. “It is for the public because the public doesn’t always know what we do and the flag tells them where a lot of the money goes that we make.”

The local Royal Purple raises money for their causes in a variety of ways including bake sales and working bingos. This year they will also be hosting a garage sale at the end of May.

Organizations: Royal Purple, Speech-Language, Audiology Canada

Geographic location: Prince Albert, Canada

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