Anjana Sathyabodha- The Journey so far

Changemakersaathi- Young Leaders : Anjana Satyabodha- The Journey so far

Anjana Sathyabodha
Co-Founder & Lead Speech-Language Pathologist at Subodha
The Journey so far…

I was introduced to the field of Speech & Hearing by a dear friend of mine many years ago. Moreover, we stayed close to the All India Institute of Speech & Hearing (AIISH) in my hometown, Mysore. So, this specialty wasn’t unheard of. I completed my Bachelor in Speech & Hearing from JSS Institute of Speech & Hearing and went on to do Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from AIISH, Mysore.

As the famous saying goes, the only constant in your life is ‘change’.

Waves Of Change

1. My first placement was at AIISH, in a department called CREDM. It was a new project and hence our team had the freedom of ‘creating creatively’. I came to realize that I enjoyed combining my creativity with clinical knowledge. I leaned towards content creation and found it to be rewarding.
I also leaned towards working with children and in the coming years, I worked with multidisciplinary teams as a pediatric SLP. In these years, I realized the importance of micro-skills such as patient listening, being gentle with kids and a playful, fun approach in building rapport with kids & their families. I wanted to learn more and gain more clinical skills as there is always a problem to solve given the diversity in the kids I was working with. Most of my clinic kids were diagnosed with Autism and the others had Profound Multiple Learning Disabilities. There were triumphs and failures.

2. The next wave of change came when I moved to the UK. I learnt a lot from the different culture and the work approach there. By this time, I realized there was a lot to learn and unlearn. The paradigm shift happened when I learned about ‘Neurodiversity’. It is quite a buzzword these days but back then, it was a new concept and parents & fellow professionals resisted the concept of neurodiversity.
By 2018, I started providing teletherapy (online) services globally as an independent practitioner and I was working with few verbally fluent, minimally speaking and non-speaking Autistic kids and young adults.
I unlearned rigid approaches.
I leaned to presume competence.
I unlearned the medical model of disability.
I learned the social model of disability.
I unlearned some textbook theories.
I learned to listen to actually autistic people and people with lived experiences.

Most importantly, I learned that multimodal communication (gestures, signs, alternative methods) must take precedence as the speech drills alone are not sufficient when the child has Apraxia of Speech (motor-programming difficulty). One of my clinic kids had Avaz, an Augmentative and Alternative Communication App. We started using it in a more organized manner and got great results with the child’s communication. I realized technology is a very big enabler for individuals with communication needs.

3. The next wave was a wave that left many ripples of positive change. I collaborated with Avaz to create a training course on AAC (Alternative & Augmentative Communication) for professionals, called the ACAP course. We would like to believe that the awareness and acceptance of AAC among professionals is improving. I am actively involved in spreading awareness and supporting families to use AAC effectively with their kids. I have presented vitual & in-person webinars, group sessions and training at Nayi Disha, All Inclusive Foundation, Avaz, Club Youngistan and Insighte.

The biggest challenges faced by individuals with little or no clear speech is that they do not have a reliable means of communication yet and hence, they are unable to fully participate in their educational or leisure activities. Lack of professionals who can provide guidance and intervention continues to be a problem. The challenges of adopting technology such as AAC for communication by the entire ecosystem around the child needs to be addressed.

There is a lot more to do with AAC, communication and inclusion and hence I started ‘Subodha’ with the vision of making communication accessible to all individuals. With the expertise and help of my like-minded co-founders, I aim to offer holistic services to individuals with communication needs. Our belief is that Communication is a basic human right and it must be made accessible to all.
If you are someone needing support for your child regarding communication, reach out to Subodha via

I insist my fellow professionals and parents to consider communication alternatives when speech is difficult, unclear or unreliable for your child.


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Author- Anjana Sathyabodha

Co-Founder & Lead Speech-Language Pathologist at Subodha

Artwork by Dhrov Tikoo

Creative representation for this blog is done by our extremely talented CreativeSaathi associate Dhrov Tikoo

One reply on “Anjana Sathyabodha- The Journey so far”

Wonderful knowing about your journey Anjana and the work you do with AACs! What a blessing that is…

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