Communication is the essence of life. But sometimes emotions such as fear and anxiety, trauma or developmental delays can impair our ability to articulate our thoughts properly. For instance, it could cause you to stammer while answering a question asked by your teacher. Or you could end up stuttering when you are really excited about telling a story to your friend.
Sometimes in individuals with speech impairment, this stuttering and stammering is more pronounced. So much so that it can affect their ability to communicate with others and even lower their self-esteem.
That's where a speech therapist comes in. Through therapeutic interventions, a speech therapist can help people overcome these impediments and express themselves fluently.
Speech therapists work with people across all ages from children to senior citizens, and help them improve their quality of life and build their confidence...
How it works
Speech therapists work with children as well as adults who failed to develop normal speech for various reasons. They diagnose and provide therapy for different speech, voice, and language disorders, including stuttering, articulation, difficulties due to a cleft palate, laryngectomy (removal of the larynx), as well as neurological speech disorders, stroke, etc.
What are the job prospects?
Speech therapists can work with hospitals, special schools, and non-government organisations focussing on the speech and hearing impaired. There is a demand for them in departments for Rehabilitation Medicine, Neurology, Plastic Surgery, Pediatrics, and ENT. Recently speech therapists have become actively involved in voice and speech recognition, which finds a number of applications in forensic science.
What to study
Several institutes offer degrees in speech therapy, or speech language pathology coupled with the audiology course at undergraduate and postgraduate levels Audiology is the branch of science that deals with the sense of hearing and balance, and is closely connected to our ability to speak. Some institutes also conduct separate PG programmes in speech- language pathology, audiology, and forensic speech science
- Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai (regional centres in Kolkata, Secunderabad, and New Delhi): Bachelor of Science (Audiology, Speech Language Pathology) and Master of Audiology Speech-Language Pathology
- All India Institute of Speech & Hearing, Mysore: PG Diploma in Forensic Speech Sciences & Technology. PG Diploma in Neuro Audiology and PG Diploma in Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
- BYL Nair Hospital and Medical College, Mumbai: Master of Science in Audio Speech Therapy.
- Dr SRC Institute of Speech and Hearing, Bengaluru: Bachelors in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology (BSLPA), Masters in Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology (MASLP).
Picture Credit : Google