Communication Sciences and Disorders Department Chair Shelley Velleman recently visited the Department of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences at Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute in Chennai India. She met with research collaborator Dr. Lakshmi Venkatesh and gave a three-hour workshop on treatment of childhood apraxia of speech, a motor speech disorder in which a child has difficulty making accurate movements when speaking.

While in India, Dr. Velleman joined nearly 2000 audiologists and speech-language pathologists from around the world attending the 50th annual conference of the Indian Speech and Hearing Association (ISHACON) in Mysore (Mysuru). The three-day event included sessions on assessing and managing motor speech disorders in neurodevelopmental syndromes, pediatric feeding disorders and intervention, professional voice management and funding opportunities for aids and appliances. In addition, audiology and speech-language professionals and students presented around 220 research papers. Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala inaugurated the conference and the members of the royal family of Mysore spoke at the evening celebratory event marking the conference’s Golden Jubilee.

Dr. Velleman engaged with six graduate students to provide expert advice and answer their questions about the field of speech-language pathology and doing research.

“It was so inspiring to see how dedicated the Indian speech-language pathologists and audiologists are to their fields,” Velleman said. “They have far fewer resources than we have in the U.S. and they work under worse conditions for longer hours, often with patients with very little education who are dealing with extreme poverty along with their communication disorders. But they are resourceful, collaborative, professional and determined to make a huge difference in many people’s lives.”

Dr. Velleman teaches communication sciences disorders courses including Speech and Sound Disorders in Children. She also advises graduate students on their master's theses research.


Janet Lynn Essman Franz
Dr. Velleman outlined treatment options for childhood apraxia of speech.