(Rockville, MD) Just
in time for national Better Hearing & Speech Month, the American
Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) today announced the publication of its
first children's story, Everybody Needs a
Turn. Written by an ASHA member and speech-language pathologist, the book
spotlights the experience of a young girl, Hanna, as she deals with feeling
left out when her brother gets extra attention because of his difficulty
Hanna's experience is not unique. Nearly 1 in 12 (7.7%) U.S. children ages 3–17 has had
a disorder related to speech, language, voice, or swallowing in the past 12
months—many of whom have siblings. Some siblings may feel that their needs come
last, the book's author explains.
and sisters may feel left out or even a less important member of the family
when so much time, energy, and attention is dedicated to a sibling’s
treatment," said Denise Underkoffler, MA, CCC-SLP, the book's author. "Parents
should reassure them that they are valued and loved. Parents and
speech-language pathologists should remember that everybody needs a turn when participating in family activities and
even speech-language sessions when possible."
She continued, "As the sibling of a sister who stutters, the mother of a child with
a speech and language disorder, and a speech-language pathologist myself, I have
experienced or seen first-hand the range of emotions a child can have about
their sibling's communication problems, from helplessness to jealousy. Siblings
may even act out in an effort to gain their parents' attention. I hope this
book speaks to them directly—as well as reminds us all to appreciate the
sibling’s unique experience."
In Everybody Needs a Turn, Hanna, with
a little help, learns to understand her feelings and find a way for both
her and her brother, Peter, to have their turn. The endearing
illustrations further bring the engaging story to life, making this a warm and
accessible book for sharing at bedtime—or anytime.
The book can be used by parents, speech-language pathologists, and
educators as a springboard for more conversations. It includes a
section of helpful and practical communication tips for the whole family. Discussion starters help children understand
and communicate their feelings.
The book is published by ASHA Press, the publishing imprint of ASHA. It is
available for sale on ASHA's website.
About the American
Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific,
and credentialing association for 204,000 members and affiliates who are
audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing
scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and
students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and
balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing
aids. Speech-language pathologists identify, assess, and treat speech and
language problems, including swallowing disorders.