Advise for future SLP

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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Advise for future SLP — 3 Comments

  1. The successful treatment of adult stuttering is a very difficult task and an SLP has an obligation to know what he/she is doing before attempting to take on a stuttering client. It is a very specialised field and involves having a full understanding of the phenomenon of stuttering including how the person has become psychologically effected by the stuttering. If one fails at effectively treating and adolescent or adult client then one can deter that person from ever seeking further treatment. Treatment that if done well could have helped the person. So my best advice is, if a client presents with a severe stutter you are best referring that person onto a stuttering specialist. I also prefer intensive treatment. By intensive I mean a 2 – 3 week intensive treatment course. I have found that anything shorter has not been successful for me. Having said that, the length of the therapy course will not matter if the clinicians running the program do not conduct the course in the right way. So finding a good clinic to refer your client to is the challenge. Sorry if that is not what you wanted to hear but that is my opinion after 40 years of seeking effective treatment.

  2. In my keynote speech for the ISA World Congress I spoke about just that. As PWS are such a huge variation of people, all with a different stutter, a different background, with different experiences AND with different wants and needs, there is no one therapy for all. One might want fluency, another might want confidence, the third might want public speaking skills, the fourth might simply want relaxation. A multi-disciplinary approach, with not just clinicians, but also using yoga, song, mindfulness and massage might do the trick. Just like going to the gym is not for all. Sometimes the tools aren’t right, sometimes the clinician/trainer, sometimes the time isn’t right. So by listening to the client and, together with the client, find a smorgasbord of activities to pick from, and maybe invite a friend to the therapy room to help your client with the challenges and exercises outside the therapy room might be the key. (Just as it’s more fun to do tough things together with a friend.) So, give the client a smorgasbord, explain the different “dishes” and let the client pick and choose and give it a try. It’s the combination of “flavors” that can make the perfect “dish”. Being in this “kitchen” together, client and clinician, makes a team and can maybe create new “dishes”, instead of a teacher-student situation where one simply does what he is told, leaving the room with a sigh of relief. And what is more rewarding than for a client to feel proud and wanting to keep on expending comfort zones and new speaking levels, and for the clinician to watch and cheer the client, you’ve been coaching, reaching new levels. The books need to be rewritten, from counting stuttered syllables, risking to silence the client, to counting life successes, as that’s what really matters.

    Stay safe and keep them talking


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