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Audiology as a Career

Jeffrey Sirianni sirianni at uts.cc.utexas.edu
Sat May 27 13:20:13 EST 1995

In article <3pp7d1$8kt at insosf1.infonet.net>, HearWHAC at netins.net (HearWHAC) says:
>I predict one of the next things you will see happen will be the "divorce" 
>between audiology and speech therapy.
>....living in two different worlds with two completely separate 
>groups of patients. There is nothing "bad" about this. It just illustrates 
>that it is good that AAA is now replacing ASHA as the "home for 
>audiologists." (I predict the universities will have real problems 
>separating these programs - but each does deserve a life of its own and it 
>will happen!)
>Paul Woodard, M.Div. ;-)
>HearWHAC at netins.net or
>HearPaul at aol.com

My only concern with this separation is that children with hearing problems
will get overlooked by speech pathologists who are not comfortable with
screening for hearing loss.  There are many SLPs out there who are EXCELLENT
in performing audiometric screening, otoscopy, and imittance, BUT there are
so many who are so poor at it.  As a former TA, I am often approached by
SLP students who say "What does this tympanogram mean?" or "What exactly am
I looking at in this kid's ears?", or "Well he responded at 30 dB HL and not
at 20 dB HL, so I guess he hears alright...".  Having trained both audiology and
SLP students, I see a clear distinction in the two groups.  Many SLP students
just want to "get through this audiology stuff" just as audiology students "want
to get through their speech stuff".  I am not saying that one group is "more wrong"
than the other, but (IMHO) it is much more important for SLPs to recognize the
clinical signs of hearing loss and middle ear infection than for audiologists to
recognize developmental speech delays.  IMHO, it is important for audiologists
and SLPs to have some sort of working relationship, but not necessarily direct.

My approach, when in doubt about a child's speech development, refer to an SLP
for a speech diagnostic session.... and vice versa...

Jeff Sirianni     @(((<{
University of Texas at Austin
Communication Sciences and Disorders
CMA, 2nd Floor Clinic
Austin, TX  78712-1089
sirianni at uts.cc.utexas.edu
jgsaudio at aol.com

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