Best ways to advocate

Hello, I am currently an SLP graduate student and I recently watched a documentary regarding the feelings/emotions a PWS may go through. One of the things that was emphasized as SLP’s treating fluency with a client was active and empathetic listening. What are some preferred ways to advocate/educate active listening to peers, families, friends of a PWS?

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Best ways to advocate — 2 Comments

  1. Dear Pittsbe (sorry there was no name just a login name),

    HI! Thanks for writing and asking questions! What documentary did you watch? Where are you a grad student? Just curious.

    Advocacy is a skill we all can practice. Advocating is about letting people or another person know something that you want to explain and explaining it in a non threatening way. It isn’t even about being right or wrong (so many things are opinions and not facts). Advocating is moving forward with thoughts and letting others know where you might stand on something.

    Helping a PWS of any age starts with helping them know their words have value for themselves and others. This begins with helping them see that their values CAN drive them to how they act. Example, if someone values honesty, then they can act in honest ways and express themselves in honest ways. We don’t talk enough about values (being honest, being kind, being compassionate, being open minded, learning for ourselves and others, being helpful, etc).

    When we know our values we can gain confidence and build resilience and then when it comes to express and advocate our thoughts, we can have the skills to communicate effectively and stuttering becomes a small part of the whole communication process because the content and purpose of the message is first. This is another conversation, letting people know that content and purpose are important as well as the tone and way we communicate (again, not even talking about stuttering here but all of the other components of communication).

    Does the above make sense? Please keep asking questions!!!
    With compassion and kindness,

  2. Hi! Thank you so much for asking a question to the professional panel. I second Scott’s sentiments and response. When advocating for people who stutter and educating regarding communicating with and actively listening to people who stutter, there are some great free resources on the Stuttering Foundation of America website; here are a couple of resources:

    Tips for parents talking to their children:

    Tips for speaking with someone who stutters:

    When I teach active listening skills to my graduate Fluency Disorders course, I love to teach my students to use the carrier phrase, “so what I hear you saying is…” and paraphrase what the person has said. This is a great tool to use when communicating with friends, family and people who stutter. I have a colleague/friend that uses this technique, and I don’t know about you, but for me- this strategy when used by her as a listener makes me feel so wanted, valid and listened to.

    I hope that these few tips help, and best wishes in your studies.


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