Helping PWS Outside of the SLP Clinic

Hi,

What are some ways that SLP’s can help PWS outside of the clinical setting? Are there certain details or facts that you want your SLP to know about helping outside of the clinic or any other techniques and tools that SLP can do or use to help PWS feel more accepted into society and be comfortable in your own skin?

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Comments

Helping PWS Outside of the SLP Clinic — 3 Comments

  1. Complete acceptance could be achieved some day only with consistent efforts at both ends- working on self acceptance of the PWS on one hand, and building an inclusive environment through public education and sensitisation on the other.

  2. This is such a great question, thanks so much for asking a question to the professional panel. 🙂 I LOVE advocating for people who stutter outside of the therapy room and there are so many ways to do that. Here are some generalized ways to help and PS- you are already helping by being involved in this international online conference! Here are some tips:

    1.) Get involved in an organization: there are a lot of ways to volunteer with organizations that support people who stutter. Here in the United States there are groups that have support group meetings for adults and children who stutter including Stuttering Association for the Young (SAY), the National Association for Young People who Stutter (FRIENDS), the National Stuttering Association (NSA) and also there is the Stuttering Foundation of America that has a quarterly publication that you can read and a blog that you can follow along with resources (some free online) for parents, children and adults who stutter and CEUs offered for SLPs. Internationally there are country stuttering associations, the International Stuttering Association, the World Stuttering Network and for SLPs/Professionals and People Who Stutter, the International Fluency Association. You can find all of these groups online, and there are ways to read up, keep up, and get involved.

    2.) Educate. This may sound odd, but my pulmonologist knows more about stuttering than most doctors because I talk about it all the time. He even has mentioned stuttering in my medical session notes before! (now THAT made me excited). People who stutter don’t need us to save them and we don’t go around wearing a cape (they actually wear the capes) but as an ally of people who stutter you can help to educate. On International Stuttering Awareness Day (October 22nd every year), I love to do something to promote awareness and education re: stuttering. One year (pre-pandemic) I handed out Franky Banky buttons (he is a fox who stutters- there are comics with him in it, etc.. google it), and gave out information about stuttering to doctors, nurses, staff and patients at the hospital where I worked; I actually took the day off to do this. Months later there were physicians still wearing their stuttering awareness pins! 🙂 Get creative with educating about stuttering and make it fun 🙂 The pandemic has limited us a bit- but you can make social media posts, etc… so many of my friends that are not involved with the stuttering community know so much about stuttering.

    3.) Model what you know in public for others. The best thing you can do for a person who stutters is to listen, and most people who stutter don’t like to be interrupted (just like you wouldn’t like to be interrupted)… so in knowing this, if you encounter someone who stutters in public, use these listener strategies so that others can see you doing so. The more we do, and the more we talk about it- the more people will know about it. 🙂

    I hope that these responses help. You can find great resources on the Stuttering Foundation of America website for listener tips etc, and those are great things to give out to others for generalized education (they are in English and Spanish depending on your country of origin language). Take care and be well!
    Thanks,
    Steff

  3. Great question!
    I would suggest, if you haven’t already, that you post this question on the PWS panel as well. I think they would probably be able to give some valuable insight into what they ‘wish’ their SLPs, family members, friends, etc. knew about stuttering.

    The professionals above have given you a lot of great pointers already.

    I think one way that we can help our clients outside of therapy is to figure out what their goals are for therapy and then help to set them up for success in working toward these goals outside of the therapy room. For example, asking them – what speaking situations would you like to make easier or are important to you? Followed by – what specifically do you want to work on connected to those speaking situations. This could be ‘getting more comfortable,’ ‘not avoiding as much,’ ‘speaking with more ease,’ etc. By focusing on real-life speaking situations, we’re helping our clients to make changed in their everyday lives and that is really, really powerful! 🙂

    Also, keep up to date with current events in the stuttering world – this way you can bring those into therapy too. Things like films, books, podcasts, support groups, etc.

    And, if you’re a camp person – check out the camps for people who stutter across the US. A lot of them offer the ability for students and SLPs to also get involved and learn and grow too!

    All the best to you,
    ~Jaime

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