This is my first time participating in this online conference. I’m not exactly sure how I found it, but I’m excited to read and learn from other posts.
I’m a school-based SLP and I have a question regarding treatment suggestions for a CWS. I have a student who is 11 years old and has been in treatment for 3 years now. His stutters are primarily mid word inhalations, irregular breathing, and audible nasal emission. Occasionally silent blocks have been observed. He’s been noted to not make eye contact when responding initially. No other secondary behaviors noted. He is aware of his speech difference, and reports not having any anxiety about it. He also states he hasn’t noted any changes in tension in any of his speech articulators during moments of stuttering eg. no increased tension in his chest, neck, mouth etc.
Our plan for the year is to continue therapy to address: using his tools to increase fluency during moments of stuttering and to share his knowledge of stuttering with the SLP, another adult, and then a peer/sibling.
The student is home-schooled and has several siblings. His mother reports that the siblings are not to “bother” him about going to speech therapy. Mom reports her son talks to her about therapy though she is not sure if he’s ever spoken to dad about it. Mom really wants to be finished with therapy. She does understand therapy is not about “fixing” or eliminating the stuttering.
I am most concerned that the CWS doesn’t talk to anyone else about his speech. How will he be able to handle bullying or advocating for himself if he can’t talk about his disability openly?
What else can I do or am needing to consider? I can’t say for sure how his disability is impacting him other than his parents are concerned. He does not participate in any extra-curricular activities like sports or clubs. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t do so not because of his speech but because he is not interested. Sometimes he will be around other adults like uncles and aunts. To me, there doesn’t seem to be much impact on his communication, other than when responding to complete school work. Our fluency tool box includes maintaining eye contact, taking full breaths, taking breaths between groups of words instead of within words, language planning/think of your response first, and discreetly using a finger to tap out stuttered words. I can’t say there’s been much improvement to increase fluency over the three years. He’s had a different therapist each year and we all feel stumped as to how to effectively help him. We feel his stutters are atypical and our usual strategies e.g. pullouts/cancellations are not useful.
I’ve only just started with him this year. If you have any suggestions, treatment ideas, or areas to consider, your help is greatly appreciated.
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