At Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center we believe that communication is the key to connecting with the world. It is our mission to provide a full range of effective, family-centered speech- language and hearing services to everyone in need. Our Hearing Services Bank (HSB) provides free or reduced cost hearing aids and related services to low-income children and seniors with a hearing handicap. We are the only agency in the area that provides this service.

Our speech-language department takes a three-tiered approach to serving the unmet needs in our community. We have programs that address the prevention, early identification and treatment of speech-language disorders for at-risk and underserved children in the Charlotte Metro area. Speedway Children's Charities has been a steadfast supporter of our programs for children in the community. Recently they provided support for our Step Ahead free screening program. Here is an example of how this program touched the life of a young child and his family.

"Tim" received a free speech-language screening at his daycare through Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center's Step Ahead program in last year. As he failed the screening one of our therapists followed up with his mom a few days later. The family lives in a very disadvantaged area with limited resources available. She spoke to her about the difficulty Tim had and about his development. She then arranged an evaluation, at no cost to the family, at his daycare the next week. Tim was diagnosed with a severe language disorder; at the age of 3 ½ he was communicating at an 18-24 month level. Monica, one of our speech therapists, has been providing speech-language therapy for Tim for about 6 months now.

During that time she has educated his teachers about Tim's goals and how to stimulate his language, as well as that of other children in the classroom. She has worked with his mom on how to address his language deficits and help prepare him for kindergarten, even providing books and materials to stimulate his learning. For the last few months Monica has seen Tim in his home. She became aware of his younger sister's unidentified delayed language as well and is now able to provide services to both of them. Neither of these children would have received valuable therapy services prior to entering kindergarten. This thought is terrifying to Tim's therapist who has seen such remarkable progress in his language skills. She believes that if Tim had entered kindergarten with no therapy he would have been transferred to a special education class and may never have caught up on the critical skills he is now learning.

Because of Charlotte Speech and Hearing and Speedway Children's Charities Tim future is so much brighter and his academic career is off to a great start. The Step Ahead program was able to change the direction of one child's development, educate a parent and empower teachers to better serve the children under their care. We are fortunate, thanks to the support of Speedway Children's Charities, to have been able to provide over 1,000 screenings last year to preschool children in our community and to put hundreds of children like Tim a "Step Ahead" of where they would have been without our help.

Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center
210 E Woodlawn Road, Suite 150
Charlotte, NC 28217
Ph: 704-523-8027
Fax: 704-523-8031
www.charlottespeechhearing.com