This blog was written by Stephen Groner. He is an SLP and a person who stutters. He has an incredible site (and the Instagram page!) filled with tons of tips for SLPs who work with stuttering students!
If you’ve never visited their website before, I recommend that you start with this post. It’s incredible.
Here are Stephen’s three main mistakes he sees doing stuttering SLPs:
1. Don’t buy my ultimate package on stuttering treatment. (I’m joking;))
Real # 1. Not generalizing outside the therapy room from day one It is extremely difficult to use fluency techniques to speak more fluently. It’s generally worth it for me, but damn, it’s difficult. In the intensive stuttering therapy program that I attended, at the end of the very first day, after we were taught to stretch our syllables for 2 seconds to slow down our speech so that we could learn to implement d Other fluency techniques, we had to tell the whole group of participants and their parents together what our names were, stretching each syllable for 2 seconds. Talk about excruciating. But it was so good. This continued for the entire program. Whenever we learn a new technique, we must use it IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE. That day. This hour. It made me a lot less scary, gave me more confidence, and trained my brain to juggle all chainsaws, both thinking about what I wanted to say and how to say it using my fluency techniques. Generalization in front of other people (most familiar first!) Should be considered a treatment from day 1. If it is there on day 1, it will be easier every day after.
2. SLPs teach primarily self-advertising and / or pseudo-stuttering. I’m a staunch advocate of self-advertising of my stuttering and I’m even a fan of pseudo-stuttering, and both can reduce stuttering and increase positive speaking attitudes, but sometimes it’s the techniques that are directed straight out the door and, let me tell you, if you pulled me out of my grade 2 class and pseudostutter in front of you for 30 minutes, I would never come back. Now, that could just be my personality, and I would never try to speak for the whole stuttering community, but according to my estimate and my practice, I always teach at least one technique which is something physical that the client can to reduce stuttering. It is only after having armed them with physical tools that they can use to weave self-advertising and pseudo-stuttering. You see, stuttering is not “fun”. Telling others that you stutter is not “fun”. It is a disservice to make a customer go through this grueling experience before even hinting at techniques that could help them stutter less in front of other people.
3. SLP focusing entirely on the expression of feelings and attitudes or entirely on speaking skills. We all know that we need to deal with the ABCs of stuttering, the emotional (or emotional), behavioral (or speech) and cognitive (or thinking) aspects of stuttering. But sometimes I see SLPs dealing RIGHTly with feelings of fluency without actually teaching fluency! Other times, I see drilling and killing on fluency techniques without feelings. When we say that we have to deal with all facets of the disorder, it does not mean that we simply have to deal with the facet with which we are most comfortable. That means treating them ALL, I hope at each session.
I’m still looking to develop my professional knowledge in stuttering. Stephen’s website and documents have been very useful to me. So I hope this message (and all of its other information!) Will help you if you are in the same boat.
Thanks for reading!