Questions about social media usage

Hello,

I am a current speech-language pathology graduate student. I have two questions:

As future SLPs, we are curious about PWS and social media usage. Have you found that social media has been a positive experience for your clients who stutter?

When working with individuals who stutter, do you notice those individuals tend to rely more on technology or social media to communicate rather than conversing in person with individuals?

 

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Comments

Questions about social media usage — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting your question. In answer to your first comment regarding social media, I would say that social media can be a great way for PWS to participate in discussions about stuttering and the issues around it. There are a number of good blogs, discussion lists, and podcasts about stuttering that are a way for people to connect with one another. That being said, of course, there is the negative aspect of social media in which cyberbullying can take place. There are two sides to this coin and helping clients to find good sites to connect with others who stutter is as important as it may be to help them respond to bullying that may be taking place against them via social media.

    Regarding your question about whether PWS rely more on technology to communicate, some clients tell me that they prefer texting or emailing to talking on the phone. Since most younger people have migrated to texting over phone calls, this isn’t necessarily a negative thing. People who stutter are doing as most of their peers are doing. If the person avoids making calls when they really do need to do so is an issue to address in therapy if it presents a challenge for them. I rely on the client to let me know if reducing the fear and/or avoidance of making/answering phone calls is a goal they wish to address. If so, that is added to the work we do together in therapy.

    Regards,

    Lynne Shields

  2. Hi,

    Social media can be used to overcome the isolation that a PWS feels, but it can also be used to avoid talking while satisfying their dose of the need for companionship. I usually ask my clients to engage in social media, but always with the aim of graduating to verbal contact via Skype or Zoom (each of which has a version that is free), WhatsApp, or Facetime.

    I know of no study that established that either that those who use social media have a better rate of recovery from stuttering or that those who do not have the availability of social media are more apt to go for therapy and recovery.

    I use internet coaching to help PWS recover from stuttering. However, I warn my clients to use their judgment about the accuracy of information disseminated on social media.

    Gunars

  3. Thanks for your post. My colleagues have offered excellent comments – while social media can help, it can also hinder.

    One anecdote though: I was working with a teenager on self-disclosure: acknowledging stuttering to others. When she wasn’t quite ready to mention it directly to her friends, she was comfortable posting something about stuttering on her facebook page. That was a huge step for her – it allowed her to disclose in a relatively easy way, and she kept track of the ‘likes’ to know who had read her post and thereby knew of her interest in stuttering. It opened the door for her to take a few more steps, and ultimately, she got to the point where she could stutter openly and freely without fear of judgment because her friends all understood her stuttering better.

    Mostly, I think that social media opens up some new opportunities for creatively addressing our goals in therapy.

    That said, it’s important to keep in mind one of my favorite quotes: If you don’t know how to do something, you don’t know how to do it with a computer. Social media use can’t take the place of good, solid knowledge about stuttering and stuttering therapy. It can augment it (and it can diminish it), but the good work has to start without the electronic support/interference.

    Thanks again for posting.
    J Scott Yaruss