Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sorry state of affairs
A grandmother from our speech therapy class got inspired and wrote about the life changing experiences of deaf children and their parents in a local newspaper of Maharastra , our state.This paper caters to even small villages and is very widely read. After this hundreds of parents with their deaf kids rushed to meet Mrs. Hudlikar asking her to perform her magic on their deaf kids who were speechless due to various reasons. The kids were in the age group of 20 to 30 years but that hope in the parents had not died , that one day their child too would talk and call out to them.It was a very overwhelming experience for her as at that age to develop speech is very difficult. All the wrong habbits in speech have been developed, voice is spoilt and the the child is too settled in his world. The stories that came out were horrifying.A leading audiologist in the city is doing the test and then giving hearing aids which were sometimes out of reach but parents still bought them as they wanted the child to be integrated. No mention of speech therapy where the child learns to perceive sound is given .The speech therapy given is so poor that none of the kids talk. Children who are intergrated into normal lives were not shown as they do not have such kids.The parents are illetrate and are not in a position to ask questions. In due course of time when the child does not talk, due to lack of good speech therapy, the child is recommended for cochlear implant without any preparations for the parents. The poor parents, in order to normalize the child's life are ready to sell their land and homes . Some get them implanted but due to lack of speech therapy, the child is where he was even a year back. When will this mal- practice stop? Is not the duty of the audiologist and the implant surgeon to give a complete service?Is the speech therapy not part of it all?The parents should know that after the expensive aids or CI , how the child would be by showing past cases. They will never show you, even if you ask as they have nothing to show. Why can't the focus be the most important factor- speech therapy? The aid and Ci are just means to bring the sound to the ear, but the speech therapy gives meaning to it and helps to interpret them. I am not against them making money, make it but give the service too. The main thing lacking is also parents support group. i wish they would come together and fight the system. But they fear them as they are the ones we need to go to for the tube, wires, moulds etc. we can't fight them as there are no alternatives.I feel for those kids and their parents. I wish I was able to make this blog reach out to the remotest of villages so that the parents could understand and make choices.The circle could break. My teacher is so depressed looking at the parents who had hopes and tears in their eyes.I wish the mothers could come together and form a group so that we could educate the parents. This was the reason to start my you tube account- rouchi6 .this is speech therapy which has changed lives for the last 40 years, it needs to be spread.The mothers trained under her are all very good speech therapists and counselor. As we don't have certificates we are not recognized by anybody.I wish some good soul could see this and bring change in India.