Stuttering Pride and Awareness (Casey Ulrich)

ulrichAbout the author: Casey Ulrich, a Certified Speech Language Pathologist, currently working as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. She is currently oversight to the specialty clinic, focusing on Adults and children with complex needs. She has recently begun working with adults who stutter through the Northwest Center for Fluency Disorders, alongside Dan Hudock Ph.D, CCC-SLP and Chad Yates Ph.D,  This clinic provided her with an ability to treat individuals who stutter utilizing a new approach. This clinic is an inter-professional collaboration between Speech-Language Pathologists and Counselors implementing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) alongside with therapeutic approaches to stuttering intervention.

This summer (2016) was the first time I have been involved in an intensive stuttering clinic. After working with the NWCFD intensive stuttering clinic, I really have a new outlook and passion for working with individuals with fluency disorders. In the past, I have felt that Fluency treatment has focused most on changing a person’s speech, changing their voice, and in some cases has provided some clients and their families with unrealistic expectations. I’ve now have seen firsthand benefits to inter-professional collaboration in regard to fluency intervention. Speech therapists and Counselors work together during therapy sessions both empowering their client, utilizing concepts of ACT, along with creating a supportive and safe environment for clients. Together this team SLP, Counselor, and Client develop goals and post treatment maintenance plans all with the long term goal of acceptancy, advocacy. This approach goes above and beyond any approach I have experienced working with people who have Fluency Disorders. I sole heartedly, based my video on my perceptions of what every therapist, family, friend or person who has a fluency disorder should think, say and act upon. But Dr. Suess said it best “Be who you are, and say how your feel. Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who Matter don’t mind”.

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Stuttering Pride and Awareness (Casey Ulrich) — 20 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing Casey. I really enjoyed your video, and I like the comment where you said spreading stuttering awareness is not just a day or a month, but should be throughout a lifetime. I think this video is a great way to bring about awareness. I also really love the Dr. Seuss quote you wrote about and I think it ties in well to people who stutter and is something many people can relate to.

  2. Ms. Ulrich,

    I really enjoyed your creative video about pride in stuttering. I am a master’s student studying to be a speech language pathologist and I have a question for you on this topic.

    What kind of support do you offer your clients who stutter who do not yet feel pride in their speech? Do you offer verbal words of affirmation, provide them with online resources, suggest social support groups, etc? I have come to learn throughout my coursework that the person who stutter’s attitude can have grand effects on therapy outcomes. I would appreciate any insight you may have for how SLPs can encourage pride in stuttering and help promote positive attitudes.

    I appreciate your time!

    Caroline Traub

    • I am so sorry for the late response. We have integrated counseling aspects into speech therapy using counseling students and SLP students to provide therapy. We focus first on accepting stuttering and empowering themselves as a communicator. It is important that acceptance of their dysfluency is targeted first in order to be able to move forward to using techniques. it has been studied that acceptance first and learning to identify moments of stuttering, body awareness and integrating stress relieving exercises help to get a person into the “right mind” needed for integrating strategies. A lot of encouraging motivating speakers, videos and TED talks are used during the first phase of acceptance. Providing the Person who stutters an environment full of acceptance, encouragement and integrating pseudo stuttering all contribute to the decreased tension, negativity, and stress associated with stuttering. That is what we focus on most. Without that, they will not progress so this step is very important. TED talks, youtube videos, are great. We encourage the client attends support groups for stuttering, we have them go out and complete stuttering surveys too. I really hope this answers your question.

  3. Hi Casey, thanks for creating and sharing this video! I think that it conveys a very positive and powerful message. And ditto what Allie said about the Dr. Seuss quote – it’s always been one of my favorite quotes and it’s hanging on my wall 🙂

  4. Casey,

    Thank you so much for this video. As a future speech-language pathologist, I found this video to be very powerful and inspirational. I loved the use of video to help focus viewers on real issues that people who stutter experience. You did a wonderful job of highlighting the importance of pride, and the journey to get there!

  5. Casey,
    I really enjoyed your video. Thanks for sharing! You did a great job of presenting that the message a person is conveying is what is important not how it is said, and that every voice is important. I think valuing yourself and what you have to say is such an important part of communication especially for people who stutter. I also liked that you included respecting yourself and advocating for yourself and others. There are many people who are uneducated about fluency disorders so advocating and providing information to others will help more people to be informed and more understanding.

  6. Ms. Ulrich,

    I am a graduate student in speech-language pathology, and I want to thank you for sharing this video. Though I have heard some of these ideas expressed in other formats, I found them more moving and impactful than ever before. You presented these important messages so simply, yet powerfully. I appreciate the value this creation holds for people who stutter, parents, professions, friends, and community members. I look forward to sharing it as part of my practice someday because it serves as a reminder of where focus should be placed during the treatment of stuttering.

  7. Hi Casey,

    Thanks for sharing your video! I love how you ended it with “NOW is the time to advocate for yourself and for other people who stutter.” As a future SLP and member of society, there is no time like the present to advocate for people who stutter and spread awareness on the topic. In addition, this statement really got me thinking about how important it is to encourage self-advocacy for PWS we may work with as SLPs and the potential ripple effect it may have for others later on.
    I also really resonated with the line that states all people have a voice worth hearing and to take every opportunity to use it. This statement carries so much weight and can apply to every person we encounter!


    • Thank you Kylie, This clinic really inspired me! thanks for being apart of it and for commenting on this forum.

  8. Casey,
    “Be who you are, and say how your feel. Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who Matter don’t mind”.
    I think that quote alone embodies what a lot of the clients took with them (I hope!) from the camp this summer. All of them had so much to say and were such amazing people that we got the privilege to get to know! It was truly an amazing opportunity and your thoughts in this article and video really encompass how I feel as well. I really like how you also focused on advocacy. Acceptance has been the main thought in my mind but I truly feel that advocacy and acceptance must go hand in hand to see success! Thanks for your wonderful video!

    Best Regards,
    Brooke McBride

  9. Hi Casey,

    Thank you for sharing such a powerful message! It sounds like the fluency camp this summer was an incredible experience. It was interesting to read your thoughts about ACT; how wonderful to hear about a treatment approach that incorporates both speech and counseling in order to more fully empower and support individuals who stutter.

    As a graduate student, I am continually learning how important it is to advocate for PWS and encourage self-advocacy as well: “Rather than hide from the stutter, learn to accept and embrace it. Learn to be you”. This is wonderful insight that can apply to not only PWS, but everyone who we (SLPs) may work with who is experiencing a language delay, disorder, or difference of any kind.

    Thank you again for your post, and wishing you the best!
    Natalie Asay

    • Exactly Natalie! thank you for watching and commenting, I appreciate it. You are so right this needs to be integrated in all forms of SLP therapy!

  10. Casey – thanks for this video! It made me think about how I treat everyone and their rights to a voice. I really feel like I missed out on a great experience by not taking advantage of the fluency camp. I’m glad I get to learn a little from your video and thoughts you shared.

  11. Casey,

    I really enjoyed your video! Your message was beautifully written and so inspiring. I want to be the type of clinician that will inspire my clients to accept and embrace who they are and feel like they can be heard. Also, the Dr. Seuss quote is one of my favorites! I look forward to spreading this message throughout my career!

    Sierra Kamplain

  12. Casey,

    It’s a whole different perspective to know the person presenting and having met you this summer I know how passionate you are and to remind us all that we are always continuously growing in this field whether we are still in school or not, it’s important to keep expanding and learning about different therapies and areas we mightn’t have experienced before.
    I really appreciate your comment about inter-professional collaboration with counselors. There have been many articles this conference where an author has recounted how important a support group or counselor was to them and their acceptance of their speech that I think this is something to highlight – so thank-you! I really liked your answer to Caroline Taub earlier about how you encourage your clients to first accept their stutter and support them to that point and how important it is in making strategies even more successful.