What is Stuttering?
Stuttering is a disruption in speech flow characterized by frequent repetitions of speech sounds, syllables, words and/or phrases, prolongations of speech sounds, and blocks (an individual’s inability to start a word). During episodes of stuttering, an individual may or may not show other behaviors such as blinking, head jerks, hand movements, etc.
Assessment and Treatment:
A stuttering assessment includes a measurement where the speech-language pathologist takes a sample of the patient’s speech and determines what percentage of spoken syllables are stuttered. Assessment also includes a patient and/or parent severity of stuttering rating, along with other pertinent information to determine overall impact on the patient’s quality of life. Treatment of stuttering at Evergreen Speech & Hearing Clinic is customized to the needs of the patient and/or patient’s parents.
For children who stutter, we follow the Lidcombe Program approach to treatment. During weekly visits, the speech-language pathologist provides parent-training to allow for implementation of treatment within the home environment. This training is accomplished by demonstrating various features of the treatment, observing the parent perform the treatment, and providing parent feedback as needed. As the speech-language pathologist is responsible for ensuring that the treatment is done appropriately and is a positive experience for both the child and the family, parent support and training are a priority and an essential component of this program.
For adolescents and adults who stutter, an integrated program is utilized which addresses affective (i.e., emotional factors), behavioral (i.e., stuttering behaviors), and cognitive aspects of stuttering. Adolescents and adults who are seeking stuttering therapy are also encouraged to participate in group sessions scheduled with age-matched peers approximately once per month depending on patient needs.
Links for more information:
American Speech and Hearing Association: www.asha.org
Australian Stuttering Research Centre: www3.fhs.usyd.edu.au/asrcwww
National Stuttering Association: www.nsastutter.org
International Stuttering Association: www.stutterisa.org