Advice for SLPs

Hi there! This is Kelly and Meredith and we are in our second year of school to be SLP’s. We were curious if you have ever received therapy from an SLP before? If so, what did you like and dislike about it/would you recommend it to others? And, as future SLP’s, we would like to know what you think is the most important thing for us to know/advice you may have for us when we work with people who stutter.

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Advice for SLPs — 1 Comment

  1. Hello, Kelly and Meredith, thank you so much for asking questions to the professional panel! Congratulations on your schooling- second year students! You will be finished as soon as you know it! I am very honored to be able to answer your questions in this forum.

    Question 1: We were curious if you have ever received therapy from an SLP before? If so, what did you like and dislike about it/would you recommend it to others?
    -As an SLP, I have received speech therapy services from an SLP before. I actually currently have three SLP’s of my own! Journey with me for just a moment, and I will share with you. I am a professor, and teach a graduate course online for the online Master’s program at Baylor. I specialize in stuttering therapy. I have a family, pets, a life…. but I am also a lung disease patient. With multiple hospitalizations, declining health and lung function, and an interesting experience to say the least, I obtained an hypoxic brain injury during one of my recent severe breathing attacked this past summer. I will say, becoming one of our own patients is quite the experience! Not only do I get PT, OT and ST services now, but I have three speech pathologists! I have one for voice, one for cognition and one for dysphagia- and it’s super fun! One of my SLP’s was a CFY (in her clinical fellowship year- here in the USA that means she is one year out of graduate school and not fully certified just yet- she is still being supervised and is not fully certified with ASHA yet, so she isn’t a CCC-SLP yet, she is a CFY-SLP.) When she learned I am an SLP prior to our first session, she was mortified. I’m not that intimidating- am I? Oh, we had the greatest time during my initial evaluation. At the end of the session, I told her, “You know I wouldn’t have ever been able to tell you are in your CFY- you did wonderfully!” She said, “oh good because I was so nervous.” When I first had my head injury, I had a lot of issues with being the patient. I was stubborn, and not wiling to accept it for what it was… I also wanted to get better faster than I was getting better, and I couldn’t control that process. What I liked about speech therapy the most, is my SLP’s treated me and continue to treat me like a human being- with thoughts, feelings… and they also treat me like an SLP. Even though my life looks a little bit differently now post head injury- I have to do things a bit modified than I used to (for example) because of a newly gained visual impairment, and I am using a walker full-time now to ambulate…. that never made my speech pathologist treat me any differently. I realized quickly that I was being my own harshest critic.. but that was something that I had to realize myself, and get through in my own way. I tell you all of this not to vent or have my own mini counseling session… but to give you some personal experience and bring it back to treating an individual who stutters. No matter what- always remember, the person sitting in front of you that you are treating for therapy is a human being. In fact, I have even stopped using the terms “patient” and “case” because they are such an impersonal way to refer to someone (even though in the medical setting we call people “patients” and this is so normal and not a bad thing, I have started using the terms “individuals” and “people” instead. It’s more meaningful to me as a person to be referred to as that, so I have started using those terms in my clinical practice. I hope that helps to answer your question, and remember- this is just how I personally do things… it doesn’t mean that your clinical supervisor that tells you to “go get your client” tomorrow is a horrible SLP.. your supervisor is an amazing SLP I am sure- we all just do things a little differently sometimes based on our educational background and experiences.

    Question 2: And, as future SLP’s, we would like to know what you think is the most important thing for us to know/advice you may have for us when we work with people who stutter.
    -The most important advice that I can give you when working with individuals who stutter is to LISTEN. This is huge. You may be the first person to ever listen to this individual. Ever. Could you ever even fathom that as a communicator? Never feeling like you have ever been listened to? Now, keep in mind, stuttering is an individualized experience- just like most things in life. I told you earlier, I have lung disease. My lung disease experience isn’t the same as the person that has lung disease in the doctor’s office sitting next to me in the waiting room with lung disease- it is my individualized journey. The same thing goes for stuttering. You can’t put stuttering in a box. You can’t do stuttering therapy, and get the “fluency kit” off the shelf and make it work for all of you stuttering individuals. It doesn’t work like that. You can use the fluency kit, but it needs to fit the particular needs of your individual, or it won’t fit their needs at all and you are wasting their time and yours. Listen. You may be the first to ever actually listen. Use good communication skills like you would with your family or friends, and allow for the person who stutters to say what they want to say no matter how that looks. This may be a first for them- and it is a positive step in forming a trusting therapeutic relationship.
    I hope that this helps to answer your questions, and take care! Be a world changer, advocate for people who stutter, and don’t settle for any less.

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