Reply – Re: Speech Therapy
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Re: Speech Therapy
— by Brooke Leiman Brooke Leiman
Zach- interesting points, but I actually think we are on the same page to an extent.  I am a huge advocate for building a support system and address this by providing group therapy, by including and educating families/friends of my clients and also by introducing them to the many support groups that are available such as FRIENDS and NSA.  I'm wondering what specific groups you are referring to?

I also think that there are many stuttering programs and speech therapists that are unfortunately giving the "therapy model", as you referred to it, a bad name.  However, I have to say, although I may not agree with the rationales and themes behind some of the programs I have heard of, I am slowly starting to realize that although I, myself, could not stand by and provide some of those programs, I also can't judge them or the people who believe in them. If people who stutter are coming out of these programs feeling more positive about themselves and themselves as communicators, then who am I to tell that person their feelings of progress or success aren't valid.  

I am concerned that when people denounce speech therapy, certain programs/methods or altogether, they are assuming that people who stutter are a homogenous group that all benefit from the same thing.  We know from research this is far from the truth.  People who stutter most likely have different factors that contribute to the onset and persistence.  People who stutter have different temperaments and personalities.  People who stutter have different environments and interaction experiences.  Therefore, we can't possibly assume that one method is helpful for all or none.  Avoidance reduction therapy is helpful for some.  Becoming involved in the disability community is helpful for some.  Even, fluency shaping approaches like Hollins is helpful for some (gosh I NEVER thought I'd say that and I'm still cringing a bit while saying it...I'll get there:)).  

Just my two cents.