Specializing in Fluency Therapy for All Ages
Comprehensive Stuttering Program
Comprehensive programs are available for all ages. The goal of therapy is to establish natural sounding speech patterns which allow a person to maintain fluency in everyday speaking situations- including stressful or previously difficult situations. For older children and adults, computer and video feedback is utilized to shape speech. For young children, speech is modified through play therapy. Intensive Fluency Training Classes are conducted in the summer months. Transfer- Maintenance Groups for Preteens, Teens and Adults meet weekly year round.
Stuttering is a very complex speech disorder which usually begins between the ages of 2 and 5. Early identification of At Risk Stuttering signs is important before a child begins to view speaking as difficult and himself as a "stutterer." Although there is no cure for chronic stuttering, adults can learn to successfully manage stuttering through the use of fluency targets and reducing fear of speaking.
WHAT IS STUTTERING?
Stuttering is a perplexing and often misunderstood problem. Most definitions involve disruptions in speech flow such as repetitions, prolongations, and blocks. However, there are distinct differences between these disruptions and the normal disfluencies that all speakers experience.
Stuttering may be accompanied by associated behaviors (grimacing & physical tension) and emotional reactions (anticipating a problem, substituting a less desirable word, avoiding speaking situations, feeling embarrassed).
The degree to which people stutter varies widely. The degree of stuttering will also vary within the individual- often depending on a variety of factors such as the specific speaking situation, particular words the person finds difficult, and how he or she is feeling that day just to name a few.
WHAT CAUSES STUTTERING?
Research suggests neurodevelopmental causes. We do know it is not a nervous or personality disorder. Most experts believe there is a physiological basis- or at least a predisposition to stutter. Certainly, a child growing up with an unreliable speech system may develop emotional reactions and beliefs about his ability to speak. He begins to expect himself to stutter and view himself as a "stutterer". Early intervention can help prevent a lifelong problem.
Why see a fluency specialist?
There are many important reasons to see a Board Certified Fluency Specialist for stuttering and other fluency disorders. Specialization in a particular area of speech pathology (just as in the medical world) promotes successful treatment. More experience with a particular problem helps the clinician focus on solutions. Studies show that many Speech-Language Pathologists in general practice, for example in schools, say they "feel uncomfortable or even inadequate treating fluency disorders." Most Speech-Language Pathologists graduate with minimal experience working with people who stutter.
Stuttering is NOT just about the overt behavior but also about reactions, fears, beliefs. It is often these underlying thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are of major concern and also the areas that general practice SLPs feel least comfortable with. Another advantage of a specialized program is the ability to share the experiences of on individual or family with another and to enable people to share directly with others who stutter.
Speech therapy is not just fun and games
…but sometimes it seems that way!