Parent Involvement

Hi there. I am receiving my masters to be a speech-language pathologist. I am currently enrolled in a Stuttering course and we are discussing different assessments, specifically for preschool and adolescences, that we can provide to our client’s parents who stutter. Many that we have discussed have parent involvement such as surveys to grasp a better understanding on how knowledgeable parents are on stuttering and what parents can do at home to further assist their child outside of the therapy room. In your experience how involved were your parents? or what do you wish your speech therapist would have done differently to involve them more in the therapy process?  I look forward to hearing from you!


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Parent Involvement — 2 Comments

  1. Hello Briana,
    First, let me place a caveat on the answer. I work with adolescents and adults, not children. But since there were no answers on 10/22 I decided to use my own experience as a guideline for my answer.
    1. I, personally, am happy my parents were not involved in my therapy. My father was too demanding and my mother was too sensitive.
    2. I go along with Wendell Johnson that parents MAY exacerbate the problem by calling attention to what they define as a gross deficiency and not allowing space and time for a child to talk.
    3. What parents need is go to a good Cognitive Behavior Therapist (CBT) or better yet a Rational Emotive Behavior Therapist (REBT) to learn three things: a) unconditionally love the child who stutters; b) when the child talks give him or her all the space and time to talk without a sign of impatience nor any expectation let alone demand placed on his or her speech; and c) learn to deal with their belief that stuttering in their child is awful, unbearable, or makes their child somehow deficient.
    Any assistance that the child needs is in learning to tolerate frustration and not exaggerate the inconvenience stuttering causes. This is done best by reading a book such as “Sometimes I Just Stutter”. Life is what it is. It would be nice if we as children would have learned Samuel L. Jackson’s attitude when stuttering appears. He just says “frick it” (or something akin to that. Of course, a child should not use language like that, but say something like “Oh, well” and keep on living his or her life.
    What could the speech therapist do differently? Concentrate on the aspects of Sheehan’s iceberg that are below the water level using REBT or CBT or children. The therapist could demonstrate that he or she can outside of the therapy room do pseudo stuttering and nothing terrible happens. The therapist could plan things to enjoy with and without stuttering.
    Contact me if you need any more detailed explanation.

    • Hi Gunars,

      Thank you for your response. Your thoughts are very insightful.