Every May, ASHA leads the observance of Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM), a time for raising awareness about communication disorders. Given the pandemic, BHSM this year is focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on persons with communication disorders, offering them guidance and resources for managing the disorders at home.

One key audience is parents with children who were previously receiving in-person early intervention (EI) services. Parents may be worried about losing important progress with in-person services unavailable. To help them, ASHA has developed a list of EI resources that parents can use to keep their children on track. But there are other interruptions—not just in EI services. For this reason, ASHA is providing information for parents dealing with interrupted hearing health and school-based speech and language services this month, too. Audiologists work with many of the nearly 15% of all children aged 6–19 who have some sort of hearing loss. As part of BHSM, ASHA is offering tips for parents on promoting hearing health at home.

This information includes ASHA Journals articles that are of particular relevance during this unprecedented time—these articles address topics that can help both parents and practitioners who are working remotely.

Professionally speaking, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) working remotely may find themselves relying on parents to play a larger role in their children’s EI. The following three resources from the ASHA Journals provide helpful information on including parents in EI:

For audiologists working remotely with families, the following articles may be helpful in navigating the unfamiliar territory created by COVID-19 (parents may find them helpful as well):

ASHA emphasizes that all children still have the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and that, for some children, virtual therapy may provide an equal benefit to children compared to in-person services. These articles from Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups provide guidance for school-based SLPs who may find themselves working remotely for the first time.

We hope that these articles are particularly timely in light of regulations by federal, state, and local governments to “stay home, stay safe.” Although this period may seem particularly challenging for parents of children with speech, language, and hearing difficulties and those working with them, we hope that these resources­­—along with others provided by ASHA during BHSM—can better support everyone right now. For more on BHSM, check out http://www.asha.org/bhsm.