Reply – Re: Speech Therapy
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Re: Speech Therapy
— by Frank Stechel Frank Stechel
I'm a 63 yr. old PWS. I attended the Hollins program (fluency shaping) in the 1970's. Like many people I learned the skills to virtually eliminate my stuttering but couldn't transfer those to my everyday speaking environment, although I use some of the techniques (e.g., gentle onset, slower speech) when I focus on them. I'm frankly surprised that the stuttering community hasn't demanded from professionals more efficacious therapies with the research to back them up. I personally believe that the emphasis on the "acceptance" of stuttering - as important as that is given that there is no therapy that is effective in reducing disfluency in many of us -  takes the onus off of the professionals, be they speech pathologists or medical professionals - to improve the efficacy of existing therapies and finding new ones. How much money goes into research on stuttering therapy? How is this research coordinated? Can someone name a new or improved therapy directed to adults in the last 40 years? Certainly the speaking environment in which many of us live can and should be improved, especially in families, schools and perhaps the workplace, but I don't agree that the "stigma" of stuttering, and the personal costs resulting from it, can be ameliorated by trying to change society's view of disfluent speech. We need better, individually targeted and affordable therapy that affords stutterers the opportunity of optimal fluency.