Question

Hello, I’m a current 2nd year grad student and I have been an assistant for 10 years. After working mostly with children who stutter, I found that a lot of them don’t really care about their fluency. I’m learning that education and awareness is important but my question to you is how important was it as a kid for your speech therapist to explain fluency to you and after it was explained, did it make you feel any better or want to improve your fluency?

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Comments

Question — 3 Comments

  1. Fluency is in the “ears of the beholder”. 😊

    Who determines what fluency is? How would you explain what fluency is to a child or teen that stutters? Would it be seen as something unobtainable?

    I am a fluent stutterer. Might that be part of your explanation of fluency?

    And would the explanation of fluency come from your perspective? Or that of a person who stutters?

    Fluency is something different for different people. It may be something that people do not want. A person who stutters may be happy just the way they are.

    Pam

  2. I believe that PWS in general wouldn’t care about fluency if no no ever told us or made us feel different or lesser than. The kids who you have worked with likely haven’t had that pivotal moment that so many of us have had where we become painfully aware that we speak differently and it’s not ok. While I did value my time with the speech therapist and was a safe space for me as a kid, once I left my sessions I was once an outcast amongst my peers. This is where speech therapy in tandem with the support of the stuttering community come into play. I believe both of those resources play a big role in helping kids get through the inevitable tough times that PWS will experience.

  3. Thanks for this interesting question.
    As a child, I experienced many speech therapists, some in the public school system, some from a youth guidance center that offered speech therapy, and others. I began therapy at age 4 (perhaps even earlier), and continued into early adulthood.
    Sadly, none of the therapists who I had as a child had any idea how to help me. I was 17 when I first found an SLP who actually understood stuttering, and could offer me some significant help.

    None of the therapists I had as a child explained the concept of fluency to me. Indeed I’m not even sure I encountered that term in therapy until I was much older.
    I very much hoped that one of these therapists would help me, or would know what to do to substantially reduce my stuttering (if not eliminate it entirely – I was always hopeful!). My severe stuttering made speaking really difficult, and I really hoped to find a therapist who could make speaking easier for me.
    But as a child, I never found that. When in school, I did enjoy the time off from class to go to therapy sessions (as I was often bored in school, being considerably ahead of the other students academically). But I found therapy sessions at that time to be pretty much useless. Since the clinicians had no idea what to do for my severe stuttering, I was often placed in groups with kids in therapy for articulation. I practiced sounds with them, sounds that I already KNEW how to make. The clinicians also tried various methods that, looking back, make little sense. My speech was sometimes taped and played back to me, which always made me feel worse. The clinicians conversed with me about my life activities (not about stuttering), and sometimes read stories to me for reasons that I didn’t and still don’t understand. Obviously, they just had no idea what to do.

    I don’t think I needed an “explanation” of fluency. I knew what fluency was, and I knew that I wanted it. But nothing that the clinicians of my childhood said or did helped me to be more fluent.
    My childhood therapy was, frankly, a waste of time.