– Re: Speech Therapy
In Reply To
I agree with you that some speech pathologists may either intentionally or inadvertently communicate the message that it is the person who stutters that has sole responsibility for any activity limitations and restrictions they may experience. I can only speak for my practice, but I try to take steps to prevent sending this message. Even for my young clients, we discuss myths and misconceptions that people may have who are not familiar with stuttering. I facilitate stuttering awareness activities so that my clients can help educate people either close to them or possibly addressing a larger audience. I hope that I'm communicating that some experiences they have may be completely out of their control and are a result of some of the political and social issues you speak of while also empowering them to feel that if they want to (and I stress IF), there are certain things they can do that may help them navigate these issues. Just as I don't want my clients feeling as though they are solely responsible for situations they experience, I also don't want them to feel like they have to throw up their hands and feel angry every time they come across a person or a situation that doesn't go well. Whether its a political/social issue or not, they are the ones having to go through it and I'd hope they feel like they have the means to get through it.
Again, I stress that there most definitely are people who stutter who do NOT need speech therapy but I do think that speech therapy can be very effective for people who do warrant it.
I sincerely hope I was able to answer some of your questions.
I think your statement "I agree with the general method of Avoidance Reduction—so much so that I am not sure why speech pathology is needed for it" can be answered simply by "speech therapy might not be needed" There are most definitely people who stutter who do not warrant speech therapy. However, there are also people who stutter who may find having a speech therapist helpful in guiding them to identify unhelpful habits/thoughts and in facilitating challenges.