|About the Author: My name is Pallavi Kelkar and I’m from Pune, Maharashtra in India. After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, I went on to do a Master’s and then a PhD. I have completed my doctoral work in the area of fluency disorders and my thesis is currently under evaluation.
Because of my special interest in fluency disorders, I have conducted awareness programmes in the past, as well as started a self- help group for persons with stuttering. I have completed a basic and an advanced certificate course in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and have found principles of this therapy really useful for helping my patients cope with stuttering.
I have presented and published papers in fluency and other areas at national and international conferences and scientific journals.
I have recently developed a tool for evaluation of the impact of fluency disorders (stuttering and cluttering) based on the ICF. The tool measures impact from two perspectives- that of the person with stuttering and that of their significant others.
When we talk about “A world that understands stuttering”, we immediately make a mental division between “Persons with stuttering” and “The rest of the world”. I however, feel that if there is acceptance in the true sense of the term, this division should not exist. This acceptance of stuttering being “nothing very different” needs to come from within persons with stuttering themselves. This audio clip that I have shared brings forth this “acceptance of themselves” by the person who stutters.
The second and very important group that makes up this “world that understands stuttering” is the population of speech therapists. Often we use an existent (albeit excellent) attitude assessment tool without giving a thought to how it might need modification based on the needs of the culture or current cohort of persons with stuttering. My study “An adapted Indian version of the SSRSS: A mixed methods study” attempts to involve clinicians in a focus group to discuss the SSRSS and the modifications it might need in the present day Indian scenario, thus encouraging them to understand and empathize better with persons with stuttering.
This is an audio clip of a woman with stuttering (identity not revealed), one of my early patients. She talks about how she found a sea change within herself as a person as she learned to cope with her stuttering.
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