After having the opportunity to listen to a panel of adult PWS, one of the recurring themes I noticed was that people were having to deal with the trauma and harm done to them as children by SLPs trying to “remedy” their stuttering. I felt like apologizing and wondered if any of you have ever had a clinician apologize to you for what was done. Even if it wasn’t the SLP that caused the harm, would you find it helpful to hear that? 

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Apologize? — 2 Comments

  1. I would not find it helpful for a clinician to apologize for something they didn’t do. It’s in the past – it’s not your fault.

    Honestly, it would sound hollow to me and would not ring true. Then should you apologize for apologizing? 😊


  2. I have never experienced an apology from an SLP, nor have I ever expected one or felt the need for one.
    Over a period of decades I experienced stuttering therapy from over 30 different therapists, most of whom were speech pathologists. Of this number I count seven who significantly helped me, and three of these substantially helped me.
    But no speech therapist harmed me with their therapy. At worst – and many fall into this category – they were simply unable to help me with their therapeutic approaches. But my speech did not worsen as a result.

    These therapists were doing their best, based on their particular understanding of stuttering (which often was faulty, I admit). They genuinely believed they were helping me, and none meant any harm (no matter how poor their therapy may have been in retrospect).

    I think going the route of an apology would be inappropriate. I fully understand that many decades ago, when most of my therapy took place, not as much was known about stuttering as is the case today.

    Some of the therapy I received was – looking back – plainly ridiculous. But these therapeutic experiences, though ineffective, did not harm me.
    I don’t think an apology would be justified. The therapists were simply doing the best they could at the time.