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Speech-Language Therapist and Audiologist
Speech and language therapists and audiologists help babies, children and adults to overcome or reduce their communication disorders.

Speech language therapy: This entails the assessment and remediation of speech disorders e.g. articulation problems, stuttering, cleft lip and palate, delayed language development and problems after a stroke.

Audiology: This entails the diagnoses of hearing problems, fitting of hearing aids and therapy for patients with impaired hearing. Therapy is aimed at improving language, speech and lip-reading abilities as well as listening disabilities and also the treatment of persons with cochlear implants - see Audiologist

Depending on the cause of the disorder, speech-language therapists and audiologists may work individually or as a team with one or more of the following: medical doctors or specialists, psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers, educationalists and occupational therapists. Once the problem has been identified, an individual programme is worked out and in many cases the involvement of the family of the patient is included in the therapy.

Satisfying Aspects
- helping others
- working with communications disorders
- the variety of different patients and their problems

Demanding aspects
- frustration involved when a patient's progress is slow
- working with difficult patients and their families
- difficulty in dealing with patients who speak foreign languages.

A speech-language therapist and audiologist should:
- desire to help others
- be able to get along well with others;
- have warmth, caring and empathy for people;
- be tactful and able to communicate well;
- be emotionally stable and mature;
- be patient and sensitive to the needs of others, but have the ability to remain objective;
- be responsible;
- be able to work independently;
- have leadership ability;
- willingness to do research and to contribute new information

School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Mathematics, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences

Degree: BA, BSc or BSpeech Therapy and Audiology, offered by the Faculty of Arts or the Faculty of Medicine, depending on the specific university, with suitable subjects such as Audiology or Speech and Hearing Therapy - Wits, UCT, UP, UL, UKZN.

Diploma: N.Dip: Speech Therapy and Audiology (Community Work)

A large portion of the training involves practical work and students are expected to complete a prescribed number of hours under strict supervision. They are also required to complete a research project in their final year of study and to submit a report on this research.

Students are also required to take the Hippocratic oath and to adhere to a strict code of ethical conduct. On completion of their Bachelor degrees or diplomas, speech and language therapists have to register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

- Department of Education
- University speech and hearing clinics
- Special schools
- Audiology departments in hospitals and clinics
- Medical practitioners
- Industries
- Defence force
- Universities
- Self-employment, with private practice.

South African Speech, Language and Hearing Association
P O Box 10813
Linton Grange, 6015
Tell: 0861 113 297 Fax: (041) 379-5388

The Head of the Department
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
University of Pretoria, 0002
Tel. (012) 420-2357