Speech Language and Hearing
Speech Language Scope :
Audiology is the science of hearing and Speech Language Pathology is the science of verbal and symbolic expression of thoughts. These two are so interrelated that they have to be specialized together, just as we all know that Ear, nose and throat are connected in the Medical profession. It involves studying the anatomy, physiology, pathology (diseases or disorders), and rehabilitation of the problems in the Hearing and speech mechanisms of humans. The course of study is considered to be paramedical and rehabilitative. The scope for a qualified Audiologist and Speech Language pathologist is vast in terms of medicine, post surgical, and rehabilitation. To explain the extent of the scope, it is essential to understand the problems in Hearing and Speech mechanisms.
- Developmental Speech Problems : Children with mental retardation, hearing impairment will have delayed speech and language development.
- Neurological : Neurological damage to the nerves, language areas of the brain, muscular dystrophy, and damage to physical structures involved in speech mechanism will need help from a qualified Speech Language Pathologist. Children with cerebral palsy may also be included in this category.
- Physical : Congenital malformations like cleft palate etc, will require speech therapy post-surgically.
- Emotional : Stammering etc is a problem not associated directly with the anatomical structures of speech and language.
- Hearing Impairment : Persons with inborn, acquired or age-related hearing loss may require assistance in fitting of the right kind of hearing aids and further auditory training to get accustomed to use the sounds they hear through the hearing aids.
This diploma program is geared at generating manpower which will cater to the needs of individuals with communication disorders at the grass-root level. In this program the students are trained to identify individuals with communication disorders and make appropriate referrals for further diagnosis. The students are also trained to supervise the caregivers in following the guidelines given by professionals for rehabilitation. For early identification and basic rehabilitation of individuals with hearing impairment what is required is more of hands- on skill than in-depth theoretical knowledge. Hence, the students in this program spend 75% of their time acquiring the required practical skills.
This DHLS program is focused towards catering to the needs of individuals with communication disorders across the country. This program supports the National Program of Prevention and Control of Deafness, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, GOI. The program is conducted at the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore along with ten other study centers, across the country.
Eligibility & Admission Process :
- Candidates who have passed plus two level with PCMB subjects.
- The candidate should be above 17 years of age.
- Candidates should have working knowledge in English and proficiency in regional language.
There are some well-known institutes in India that offer several courses in speech/language therapy. They are: Institute of Speech and Hearing, Bangalore; All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), Mysore; Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh; Manipal College of Allied Health Sciences (MCOAHS) Karnataka; Indian Institute of Health Education and Research, Patna and MERF Institute of Speech and Hearing, Chennai.
Job Prospects & Salaries :
There are ample scopes for Speech Therapists in government/private hospitals, government health departments & agencies, clinics, health centres and college/university clinics. They can also find employment in community care centres, rehabilitation centers, centre for disabled, nursing care facilities and community clinics. Some may find employment in public or private schools, universities and government agencies as teacher. Besides, speech pathologists can also opt for private practices and offer services to schools, physician’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes. Some highly qualified can choose research career in research labs or teaching career in medical/para-medical colleges.
Helping individuals cope with limitations is very rewarding and job opportunities in this field are rising. Speech and hearing limitations are no longer ignored, resulting in high need for speech therapists. You can work in a hospital, school, social welfare department or NGOs. Salaries vary and working abroad is a strong possibility too
A speech / language therapist in government hospital gets a starting salary of Rs 8,000-10,000 per month. With 4-5 years of experiences it can well go up to Rs 20,000-25,000 per month. Private hospitals offer better salaries and benefits. Private practitioners in speech / language therapy have handsome earnings which may vary at times.