The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in its 48th round of survey in 2001 had found that one million people in India suffer from one or the other kind of speech-language disorders. The number has now doubled. These disorders are often related to voice, language, hearing and speech and can be due to various causes such as intellectual disability, strokes, cerebral palsy, autism, cancer or accidents.
Such disorders need a special attention from specifically trained professionals called Speech Therapists. Today, there is a huge demand for speech therapists who can play a significant role in helping people speak and communicate better.
- Methodical Approach: This is the foremost skill that you will need an extremely systematic and methodical approach to deal with speech disorders. You must know the entire process of helping and improving people’s speeches.
- Patience: You must be an extremely patient person since you will be dealing with autistic, mentally retarded, cerebral palsies etc. You must be extremely encouraging to them and give them a lot of time to learn.
- Teaching skills: Speech therapists are great teachers in every way. They encourage, motivate and inspire students.
- Kind and gentle: You will deal with people of all age groups. So you must be kind and gentle to them.
While it may not look like it, but speech therapy is a vast field and the eligibility criteria for a Bachelor’s course varies. Yet, broadly, there are two kinds of courses-
- Courses for speech and language therapists and audiologists.
- Courses preparing teachers for dealing with those who have weak hearing abilities.
The diploma and degree courses need a 10+2 in Science subjects. The graduation course is usually a B.Sc and the PG is M.Sc. However, for those opting to become teachers have the option of pursuing a Bachelor of Education in Hearing Impaired, and they do not require Science subjects. There is also a Bachelor’s course available in Speech and Language Pathology. People also do research in Speech Therapy to get a Ph.D in the field.
List of Institutes for courses in Speech Therapy
|Name of the Institute||Website|
|Ali Yavar Jung National Institute for the Hearing Handicapped, Mumbai||www.ayjnihh.nic.in|
|All India Institute of Speech & Hearing, Mysore||www.aiishmysore.com|
|BYL Nair Hospital and Medical College, Mumbai||www.nair.edu|
|Dr SRC Institute of Speech and Hearing, Bangalore||www.speechear.org|
|Dr MV Shetty Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mangalore||www.drmvst.org|
Career Opportunities in Speech Therapy
- Audiologists: Quite a lot of career options are open for audiologists to assist surgeons, doctors, scientists in universities, research institutions, government hospitals, health centers and clinics.
- Speech therapists: Speech therapists’ work is vast. They help in developing speech and language in children who have a disability. They help in improving communication, articulation and rhythm. They also help adults suffering from speech disorders. They are also wanted in hospitals, health clinics, special centers, schools and universities.
- Teachers: B.Ed graduates in Hearing Impaired can be teachers in special schools and institutes. They usually teach students to develop the right kind of rhythm, articulation in speech.
- Research associates: Ph.D candidates may opt for working in research institutes focusing on speech and audiology. They can work in universities and institutes.
Audiologists start with a monthly salary of Rs 8,000-10,000 while in private hospitals they may even start with Rs 15,000. With experience, they get Rs 30,000 per month. Similarly, speech therapists and teachers begin from Rs8,000-10,000 per month.