Fluency Workshop Project – OFICINA DE FLUÊNCIA

About the author:zackiewicz Daniela Veronica Zackiewicz

daniela@oficinadefluencia.com.br

Director of Fluency Workshop – OFICINA DE FLUÊNCIA

SLT graduated from the University of São Paulo USP – Brazil, in 1995 and completed her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Sciences at USP School of Medicine in 1999. That same year created and founded the Brazilian Association of Stuttering, participating in the board for 15 years.

She has worked with children, adolescents and adults with stuttering for more than 20 years and her experience goes beyond the professional sphere. Married to a person who stutters and mother of two children who stutter, she believes the treatment of stuttering goes far beyond the individual care and the transformation of people is only the first step to ensure a better quality of life for people who stutter. In 2014, in partnership with SLP Luciana Contesini, idealized FLUENCY WORKSHOP, bringing a new model of action and social change.

A group approach to children, adolescents, families and teachers

Learn more about this Project

Watch our video (Subtitles in English)

Visit our website –  http://oficinadefluencia.com.br

Follow us on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/oficinadefluencia

The Fluency Workshop is a different way of approaching stuttering. Children, adolescents and their families have the opportunity to learn more about stuttering, share their feelings and practice strategies to improve communication and fluency. In each workshop participants choose a theme to develop and produce over the meetings (posters, lectures, videos, brochures, blogs, websites or drawings), expanding their knowledge and inspiring others.

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Then, the production made in the workshop is taken to the community as a volunteer work of all those involved (Speech and Language Pathologists, children, adolescents and their families).

From there the project “Stuttering Friendly Schools” emerged. Children and adolescents went to their own school and gave a lecture on stuttering for all school teachers.

Everyone wins! Children and adolescents became empowered. They learnt that teaching and educating people about stuttering is as important as learning to speak more fluently. And the school, in addition to learning about stuttering and how to deal with students who stutter, receives the quality mark  “Stuttering Friendly Schools”, a quality mark set up by Fluency Workshop in partnership with the Brazilian Stuttering Association.

Fluency Workshop

The work is done in groups and involves the following steps:

  • Awareness: how speech works activities, body awareness, discussion about the causes of stuttering, impact on quality of life.
  • Desensitization: activities that help reduce negative emotions associated with stuttering.
  • Communication Skills: activities that help develop or maintain eye contact, response time, pauses during speech and communicative shift changes, promoting confidence and security when communicating.
  • Fluency Shaping: Strategies to speak in a more easy and relaxed manner, modifying the speed and tension associated speech.
  • Stuttering Modification: strategies for the modification of stuttering before, during and after they occur, enabling the perception and change in body tension.
  • Final production: the participants of each workshop choose something to develop and produce along the workshop. May be a lecture, brochure, poster, blog, presentation to the school etc.
  • Parent Workshop: parents group to exchange experiences and to learn more about stuttering.

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Stuttering Friendly Schools

ESCOLA AMIGA DA GAGUEIRA

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What is it?

The quality mark “Stuttering Friendly Schools” is the first Brazilian certificate directed to public and private educational institutions which have received information on how to deal with students who stutter, promoting an environment of respect for individuality and possibilities of each student.

How it works?

Through our methodology of work with children and teenagers who stutter, we found that it is possible to take the workshops into the schools, engaging students and teachers in educational work and respect for people who stutter.

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Why?

We believe that all people who stutter may have a better fluency and a better life. The individual transformation is only the first step so that they can transform the school where they study and the reality in which they live.

For whom?

We are all together in this transformation. The quality mark “Stuttering Friendly Schools” was designed by Fluency Workshop in partnership with the Brazilian Stuttering Association.

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How could my school participate?

All participants in the Fluency Workshop may indicate their schools and participate actively in the training of their teachers. Our team work together with the teaching staff to develop a custom template for each institution.

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Comments

Fluency Workshop Project – OFICINA DE FLUÊNCIA — 17 Comments

  1. Welcome to my paper! I’m looking forward to read your comments. Feel free to ask me any questions you like.
    Happy ISAD to you.
    Best wishes from Brazil

  2. Olá Daniela! I’m a Brazilian SLP living in the U.S. I loved learning about your project and was very inspired by it! Are any of the Portuguese materials you utilize commercially available?

  3. Daniela, this sounds like a wonderful workshop on so many levels! I think it is especially wonderful that children and adolescents have the opportunity to grow in relationship with others who stutter, shed the negative feelings they might have about stuttering, and take away public stigma by educating people about stuttering. I think it is crucial to empower children to take pride in who they are and advocate for their communication rights. Maybe someday we will all be more well educated and inclusive of all communication styles! I do wonder, have you ever considered adding a workshop for college-age students, to help them work through the transition? I also wonder, as a future SLP, what is the most important thing you think students take away from the workshop?

    • Thank you for your message, Mary. Now we are just preparing a workshop for students college age and we think it is important to consider other aspects such as public speaking and relationships. Next year we will tell you how it was.
      About your second question, I think you already listed the most important things but beyond that, I realize that children and adolescents leave the workshop considering its stuttering as something much lighter than before. They no longer feel alone, not needing to hide their problem and feel more confident in school. Recently, a girl told us that during a speech in class, she stammered a lot but she did not care because the teacher knew she stuttered and would not think she was nervous and did not know the subject. I think fluency workshops can turn this kind of situation in more positive experiences and reduce the impact of stuttering on quality of life.

      • Thank you for your response, Daniela! I look forward to reading about the workshop for college students next year!

  4. Your program is brilliant! It targets numerous goals including improving fluency, building self-confidence within your clients, spreading awareness and educating the public. There are many well-meaning, caring teachers who want to help their students but do not know what is the proper approach to take. Having the students make the presentations to the educational staff resolves this issue; it educates the teachers while giving the students much needed self-esteem. I was interested in hearing what feedback you received from the teachers following the presentations and if the students have seen an improvement within the classroom environment? Also, do you think it would be beneficial for the students to give a similar presentation to their classmates?

    • Hello Cheryl
      Thank you for your comments and questions.
      Teachers and the teaching staff have given us very positive and motivational feedback. They loved seeing their students or prospective students talking openly about stuttering, saying how they want to be treated within the class. More than that, they felt that from that moment, they were closest of these students and more open to talk about their problems.
      Students, in turn, were much more comfortable in the classroom, especially in situations of oral assessment.
      One of the participants of Fluency Workshop did not want to talk to their teachers, but to make a presentation to their classmates. That was scheduled for next month and then I’ll tell you how it was, okay?

  5. Hi Daniela,

    I think this program sounds like a wonderful program. I especially love the added component of having the children who stutter educate others about stuttering in the educational setting. What an opportunity for teachers and peers to learn about stuttering and how they can best support students who stutter.

  6. Hello Daniela,

    I just wanted to say that I think this program is really great because it puts stuttering in a positive light. There is always a negative stigma to whatever is different but I think the Fluency Workshop really helps take away that stigma. When the children accept that they stutter and that it isn’t a bad thing they are more willing to spread awareness. I really enjoyed the bit about revenge! Teaching others about stuttering and having their personal account also makes it easier to stimulate change. I think this type of program would be beneficial everywhere. I hope you continue to expand in other areas, maybe helping adults have confidence in job settings?

    • Hello Jasmine
      Thank you for your comments.
      I believe that the heart of Fluency Workshop is the transformation that occurs in children, parents and also in society. We need to get out of victimhood and take responsibility for changing the world. 20 years ago I helped to found the Brazilian Stuttering Association and I realized the paradigm shift of the institutions over time. We leave aside a paternalistic attitude, to really focus on empowerment. I believe this is the best way.
      I loved your idea to bring the talks into companies with adults.
      Best wishes from Brazil

  7. Hi Daniela!

    I really enjoyed reading your post and think the sequence of your workshop seems like it can be a great sequence for treatment. I am currently a student working with a child with disfluency. I was excited to learn that I am working with him while also being enrolled in a Fluency course. I was wondering if you could suggest any fun therapy activities for fluency shaping or stuttering modification? His disfluencies are typically at the sentence and conversational level.

    • Hi Olivia
      I am very happy with your comment. It’s really great to have students here!
      What really makes the workshop be different from individual work, it is the fact of being a group. In this sense, the activities that have any kind of competition between children or between small groups actually makes it fun.
      In a workshop with children 6-9 years, for example, they were speaking words and phrases using easy onset, while one of the children monitored the activity. Every time someone made it correctly, the child put a sticker on their t-shirt. They have worked hard to get the stickers and they were very happy though to show their parents what they had won.
      Best wishes from Brazil

  8. Wow! What an amazing program. I absolutely love the way you’ve gotten the kids’ entire community involved, allowing them to really take control and ownership of both their stuttering and the education of their peers. I am currently a graduate student in speech-language pathology, and I would love to do something like this in practice some day. Additionally, I love that you’ve brought this to an English-speaking audience. I’m an American Portuguese speaker, and I often find very interesting things coming out of Brazil in our field- but as always, we often miss out here because of the language barrier. Muito obrigado, Daniela! Arrasou! 🙂

    • Hi Robert
      Thank you very much for your kind words. I look forward to sharing more of our activities with all of you.
      Valeu!!!! 🙂

  9. I would like to share with you that on October 21, Fluency Workshop received the Attitude Alphaville Award, given to social initiatives with the greatest impact in our region.
    A wonderful gift to celebrate the ISAD !!! We would like to dedicate it to all who believed in our project and supported us from the beginning, especially children, teenagers, families and teachers who participated in the workshops.
    Thank you!!!!