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Call to focus on speech, language disorders

Special Correspondent
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Souvenir being released at a speech and language conference in Puducherry on Saturday.— Photo: Special Arrangement
Souvenir being released at a speech and language conference in Puducherry on Saturday.— Photo: Special Arrangement

The annual conference of Indian Speech and Hearing Association-Tamil Nadu (TAN-ISHA) on Saturday urged the Governments of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to appoint speech and hearing professionals at government hospitals and in the Rehabilitation Department for the Differently Abled.

Inaugurating a two-day conference of TAN-ISHA 2012 here, S. Manoharan, speech therapist, said incidents of persons having varying degrees of disorders in speech, language and hearing was amounting to nearly 6 per cent of the total population and nearly 15 per cent of the population in the country required routine audiological services.

Out of 12.5 lakh population in Puducherry, more than 75,000 people were suffering from various disorders of speech, language and hearing and about two lakh people needed routine audiological services.

However, the government had not given much importance to the serious issue, he said. Not many had been appointed in the Union Territory to train patients with speech and language disorders. Similar trend was prevailing in other States too.

N.D. Rajan, organising chairman, said that disorders of speech, language and hearing were not considered serious by the public. Governments and other agencies also did not focus their attention on these disorders.

The governments must follow a standard mechanism to identify deficiency in intelligence, childhood brain damage, developmental disorders, orofacial anomaly, neurological disorders and others during childhood itself. Professionals must be posted in hospitals to serve those who have speech and language disorders.

Palanisamy, Vice-Principal, Arupadai Veedu Medical College, M. Ranganathan and S. Thamizharasan, organising secretary and treasurer, spoke.

As many as 300 delegates participated in the conference.

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