Stuttering 101

In the decade that I’ve been a Speech Pathologist, I’ve only had a handful of children with “fluency disorders” (aka stuttering). And most of those have been very mild.

Although stuttering was an early focus within the field of Speech Pathology, it is a very controversial and nebulous area of treatment. Many would argue that stuttering is much more psychology than speech. In support of that theory, the Medicaid program refuses to pay for treatment of stuttering, although they will pay for all language and articulation therapy.

Nevertheless, stuttering therapy remains in my scope of practice and a school age eligibility for speech therapy services.

So… with the addition of a new student with moderate to severe stuttering, I am relearning everything I once thought I understood in grad school.

Come, learn along with me:

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  1. There must be something in the water at my school, this year and last year I have an average of 6 fluency kids on my caseload. And no, I don’t know what I’m doing 😛

  2. Hey, I have attended many workshops on fluency disorders (my son had one for several years) so if you need any ideas from home stuff, let me know.

  3. I first plunged into the world of Speech Pathology when my 3rd child developed a stutter. She was assessed with two different kinds of stutter, and we were taught strategies to help her at home. After about 12 months of therapy sessions and regular at-home practise she overcame her stutters. If only it would be that easy with the younger 3 girls who simply cannot pronounce some sounds.

  4. How fascinating about how it’s now handled with regard to treatment.

  5. This mother of a boy with Tourette’s Syndrome whose main vocal tic is stuttering loves you and all the other speech pathologists in the world.

  6. Teach me teach me! I just eval’d my first fluency kid (13 yo male) today. I have no idea what I’m doing! I’m doing research but I still feel inadequate in this area. BTW… my clinic is the ONLY outpatient speech therapy in my area.

  7. That’s interesting–is this still something that kids generally outgrow? I wonder because B’s buddy stutters a little, but it seems to be lessening.

  8. It must be so frustrating to the child, the parents and the therapist.

  9. I am sure that has to be frustrating that medicaid doesn’t cover psychology treatment.

    I am sure you will do a stellar job taking on this new challenge.

  10. My brother used to stutter when he was younger and luckily had a great therapist who not only helped him but helped our family see how we were contributing to it (as the youngest of seven we never let him get a word in edgewise so his brain wasn’t given the chance to learn and practice the flow of a complete and uninterrupted sentence). I was so grateful that I went through that experience because my 3rd child started stuttering at 3 and it progressively got worse until I remembered the things that worked with my brother. One of the best things we did with him was having him point each word with his finger. Kind of like following an invisble bouncing ball that lands on each word. Oh, and NO yelling. It is so important for families to know not to yell at kids who stutter no matter what kind of trouble they get into. It just makes the stuttering worse.

    I look forward to future stuttering posts as you relearn.

  11. When I was teaching high school, I had a student with a stuttering problem. I really felt for him. It was too bad he hadn’t gotten help earlier.

  12. I would love to learn more about this… in the Tongginator’s classroom, I often work with a child who has a fluency disorder. I’m going with my gut on most things, as the teacher has just watched to ensure I’m doing no damage, but hasn’t told me how to deal with it. (Not that I think it’s my job to help him, but how to navigate the issue while working with him on other things… you know?)

  13. That’s too bad that Medicaid won’t pay for stuttering treatment. What a difference I am sure it makes for a child!

  14. I just wanted to pop over and wish ya a happy Easter!

    God bless and have a wonderful Wednesday!!!

  15. I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog via verybusymomwith4 when both my daughters have undergone speech evals for stuttering. Luckily, the both seem to have developmental stuttering but we are always working on slow speech and the like for when they undergo stressful situations such as moving. Love the concept of your blog. Will definitely add you to my fave.

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