Ask A Professional – Graduate Student Questions – For PWS

Hello all,

I am a graduate student at the University of Louisville and glad to attend the International Stuttering Awareness Conference for the first time this year and learn more about stuttering from both persons with a stutter and professionals in the field (including those who are also PWS)!  I hope to learn more here so as to be a more effective clinician now and in the future, as I have a few clients on the caseload that I am doing this semester who have stuttering.  I also hope to be more competent and confident in doing so, too.

Well, to the questions that I would be interested in is the following:

1) As a child who was a PWS and received therapy from an SLP, what are some of the traits, qualities, activities, etc. that the SLP did to help you that made therapy more beneficial (other than the fluency shaping and/or stuttering modification treatment, e.g. “producing smooth speech”, etc.)?

2)  As an adult who is a PWS and receives/received therapy from an SLP, what are some of the traits, qualities, activities, etc. that the SLP did to help you that made therapy more beneficial (other than the fluency shaping and/or stuttering modification treatment, e.g. use of DAF, etc.)?

I would say that the summed up version of both questions, is, as a child and/or as an adult (as I know this differs in how to do, approach, etc. therapy for PWS), what did the clinician do to make you feel more at ease in the therapy sessions and better establish rapport as well as make it easier for you and the SLP to talk about and work on stuttering?  What are some of the best ways to address the affective and cognitive aspects of stuttering?  [I realize that these will be general ideas and not apply to everyone, but ideas are welcome as to what worked for you as a PWS during therapy with an SLP.]

Thanks for any insight and advice; take care!

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Ask A Professional – Graduate Student Questions – For PWS — 3 Comments

  1. Collin,
    I have found that teaching the client to become his or her own therapist is one of the most effective ways for them to progress in their therapy.
    In order to motivate them I ask them to keep a journal and keep a record of short selfie clips while talking on the phone.

  2. Hi Collin, thanks for your question. Beyond the early intervention years, stuttering tends to be persistent, variable, and complex. Because of this, there is generally a need to address more in therapy than just fluency. In my therapy with school-age children who stutter, and in my consulting work with my colleagues in my school district, I focus on helping students to become the best overall communicators they can be, whether fluent, disfluent, or stuttering at any given time. Based on Kristin Chmela’s work, overall communication skills are developed across five domains of communication competence: Attentive (being “in” the conversation, being aware of when communication is easier and harder, responding and connecting); Assertive (moving toward communication, saying what you want, resisting time pressure, not avoiding); Confident (self-assurance as portrayed by eye contact, posture, body language, volume of voice); Effective (getting one’s message across, greater ease of communication, more efficient rate of information flow); and Proactive (making plans, setting goals, and following through; and honesty about communication). Our model – Basic Principle Problem Solving – was discussed in my 2017 ISAD submission, I’d encourage you to take a look.

    Regarding relationship (Basic Principle #2), some sample reflecting questions include the following:
    • Are relationships between all parties positive?
    • How often do I ask open-ended questions of the child so as to discover more about the child’s perceptions, feelings & attitudes?
    • How often do I assess my qualities of being a good listener?
    • How often am I in contact with parents, caregivers, teachers regarding their desires & perceptions, whether it be in person, by phone or via e-mail?
    • Am I rigorous about positively supporting the child with a severe problem?
    There is so much more to say. This is just a start. Wishing you the best in your studies and career,

    Rob Dellinger

  3. Gunars and Rob Dellinger,

    Thank you both for your shared insight in the replies! I especially realize the value of helping the person regain a sense of control and making sure that I am empathetic and flexible in how I approach each person with stuttering of any age, culture, etc.

    I look forward to learning more and hopefully be of greater service to those with stuttering as I continue through graduate school as well as a future speech-language pathologist.