Talk to a PWS Question!

Hello! My name is Drew Cude and I am an undergraduate at California State University, Fullerton majoring in Communicative Sciences and Disorders. I have been noticing that mental health can be affected when working with a PWS as a clinician. In regards to mental health for our clients who stutter, how can we as clinicians help PWS with their mental health?

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Talk to a PWS Question! — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Drew and thank you for your important question.

    Yes, stuttering is so much more than what happens physically. A big part of stuttering is the part that’s underneath the surface of the iceberg. The better we feel, the more we speak, and the better we can make use of speaking tools. So you’ll need to address the whole client. And that’s what makes stuttering treatment so exiting and intreaguing. 🙂

    First of all: skip the “fluency” and the “overcoming”. It might be way too big goals, and if we don’t succeed, we might feel even more of a failure. Help us to see the big picture. Stuttering is not who we are, simply something we do. Stuttering is not good, not bad, it just IS. Help us to not judge ourselves by our stutter, and to make us find all the things we do and acchieve that are amazing, and that we in fact are doing something that is hard, but doing it anyway. Like the paralympics, but every day, all day! That is something to be applauded, and that is something we not always see. It’s human to go through a whole day, doing all these great things, but when we feel we “fail”, we keep on beating ourselves up for that one thing.

    One assignment might help: to write a list of things you’re good at. It can be all from being a professional soccer player, to baking the juiciest cakes, or simply a good listener and a loving hugger. Put it in a visible place and keep adding things every day. When you’re out of things, ask others. Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers etc. You might be surprised. 🙂 This makes you realize you’re so much more than your stutter.

    Another assignment is to watch other people get on stage and talk. Watch them cringe, watch them being afraid. As public speaking is fear no one, even for fluent people! We don’t own fear of speaking. But we can work on it and become better at communicating, even with a stutter. (How many have heard f ex politicians talk and have no idea what they are saying. 😉 )

    And what makes people think everything will be perfect when fluent? If I’d be fluent, I might be a pain in the you-know-what for talking too much. And I sure would have something else to not feel happy about. Also, for who do I need to improve my speech? For me or to please others? And why do I think others really care about my speech? People are way too self-focused and might observe the stuttering, but will move on to their own thoughts. Most of all, what makes me think that I should be perfect, when I accept other people to not be? Why can’t I be my own best friend and give myself the peptalk I’d give my friends and family members?

    Yes, as you can see you need to be a therapist in so many ways. But don’t worry. If you’re a good listener, not afraid to ask questions and are willing to think out of the box, you and your client will come a long way. 🙂

    Happy ISAD and keep talking

    Anita

  2. Hi Anita! Thank you so much for your insightful response! I feel like mental health is so important for anyone whether they stutter or do not stutter or have any other speech/ language disorder. Thanks for the different assignments you had mentioned, this gives me a better idea of what I can do as a clinician for my clients. I never thought about watching other people public as a way to feel comfortable about my own public speaking!

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