The Times West Virginian

May 20, 2013

Speech pathologists help patients gain independence

Better Hearing and Speech Month set to promote awareness of disorders in May

By Mary Wade Burnside
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Amy Unger, a speech language pathologist, once had a 3-year-old autistic patient who had trouble speaking.

The boy had echolalia, in which he would repeat what other people said, but he could not express himself.

That changed after Unger worked with him.

“Now he is so independent,” Unger said. “He can sit down and tell us what he would like to do. He is becoming so much more expressive. It’s wonderful to see him blossom into this person who can say what he wants where before he was kind of trapped.”

And that’s just one example of what a speech pathologist does to help people.

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month as designated by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association ( The event is held to raise awareness and promote treatment about communication disorders, the website said.

As part of the month, special screenings to test speech, language, memory and swallowing will be held at Fairmont Rehab Center, located at the Fairmont General HealthPlex where Unger works. Screenings will take place from 8-10 a.m. and from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 28. Call 304-363-3167 to register.


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