Masks-The impact on communication, speech and hearing…It will be huge..
The real and new truth is this..
We will all have to have more patient now. Of course wearing masks is essential for our health but it does create communication and hearing issues. It has become our new normal.
I just came back from the supermarket, which has been a stressful experience for all. I While ordering items from the deli counter I realized people were repeating items three times due to the fact that it is harder to project or see lips.
People who are are hearing impaired often read lips. Well, those days are gone.
People who stutter need airflow to talk and it is harder to breathe in masks.
Someone who suffered a stroke might get frustrated if not understood. People have asthma, kids have oral motor issues or apraxia. The list goes on and on. It is also a little scary not recognizing people. With that being said we have to wear masks as recommended by the CDC.
What do we do? Have patience. If you see someone struggling and they cannot get their needs met, allow more time. If you see an older person not wearing a mask, see if you can ask if they realize they should be wearing one. I carry an extra in my pocketbook just in case. If they cannot be understood see if you can somehow help them in some way.
As my husband, Hugh Fradkin, says with every change in life a new person is impacted in some way.
I am hoping if this reaches one person it will impact others in a positive way.
Be kind..be safe…We do not know who had a family member who had Covid-19 or died from it. We have be more patient and kinder. Sending love and hugs from a worried speech pathologist and neurotic mom..