STR Practical Thoughts

Why don’t we write goals about fluency?

A recent facebook post raised the question about goal-writing for stuttering, and it prompted me to put some thoughts into a blog post. (Sorry to have been away for a while!)

I’m always glad when I see people discussing goals for children who stutter, because I think it’s one of the key areas where we as a field can improve our clinical practice. Too often, I see goals that are

Read more

How do I screen a preschooler or young school-age child who stutters?

Question: I’ve been asked to screen a preschool/young school-age child who stutters. What test should I use?!?

Answer: Often, clinicians are asked to look at a young child who stutters to see if he is stuttering. Parents, teachers, and others may observe disruptions in a child’s speech and wonder what should be done.

For preschool and young school-age children (between the ages of about 2 and 6), the question of

Read more

Answering SUMMIT questions

Welcome SUMMIT participants! I want to thank you for all your entusiasm and desire to learn more about stuttering during the SLP Summit, August 2018. There was an overwhelming response to my preesntation-both during the live session and during the weeks of replay opportunities! 

School has begun, and I am back at my desk feverishly trying to answer emails, Q & A questions and other requests. So many of you

Read more

The Top 3 Myths About Stuttering

As professionals who work with people who stutter, we realize that stuttering is one of the most misunderstood communication disorders. For example, how many times have you heard the any of the following comments?

  • “I hear stuttering is caused by (insert outdated or misleading cause here).”
  • “Oh, you work with stuttering? I stutter sometimes too!”
  • “If he just slows down his talking, then he won’t stutter.”

Most people who do not

Read more

What should we say to the parent of a young child who has recently started to stutter?

I often receive calls or emails from parents who are concerned about stuttering in their young child’s speech. Sometimes, the child has just started stuttering; other times, the child has been stuttering for a while but the parents have reached the point where they are concerned enough to take action.

What should we tell them? We want to set their minds at ease wherever possible – there’s no reason for parents

Read more

What if my child doesn't recover?

One of the more common questions that clinicians are asked by parents of young children who stutter is, “What will happen if my child doesn’t recover?”

It is clear from the research that the likelihood of a complete recovery from stuttering behavior diminishes significantly the longer a child stutters. Recovery from the behavior after approximately age 7 (ish, or so) is less likely. This does not mean it's impossible, but

Read more

Child is stuttering? Try this one weird trick!

I’ve been spending a bit of time on the various Facebook groups for speech-language pathologists, lately. These groups can be a great resource for clinicians seeking input and advice from their colleagues about how to handle challenging situations, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations I’ve had there. That said, there is one thing about the Facebook exchanges that really bothers me, and I feel the need to rant a bit about it,

Read more

What percentage of stuttering behavior is normal?

A recent Facebook post asked what percent of disfluency was considered to be in the normal range.

Like so many questions surrounding stuttering, the answer turns out to be somewhat complicated! Historically, people have used various set values, such as 3% syllables stuttered or a 10% overall disfluency rate to indicate that a person’s speech fluency was above or below normal limits.

While these metrics may have their place, I want

Read more

How young is too young for treatment?

I recently read of a mother who is seeing stuttering with signs of frustration in her 2 year old daughter. She was wondering if it’s too early to seek treatment…

It is true that some children can start stuttering a very young age, but it is also true that most young children who start to stutter ultimately recover and go on to develop typically fluent speech. Determining the right time

Read more

How long do we wait?

Happy 2018!

I’m just sitting here watching some more snow fall while I archive my emails from 2017. The biggest folder in my mailbox is the one where I keep all of the questions that I receive from clinicians and families about stuttering. I am often struck by just how much uncertainty there is about stuttering, and I am pleased when I can offer some words of comfort or guidance

Read more

Talk about stuttering with preschoolers?

A speech-language pathologist asked, "Is it appropriate to talk about stuttering with preschool children?"

This is actually one of the most common questions we are asked. For years, speech-language pathologists were hesitant to talk about stuttering with young children--even going so far as to avoid the word "stuttering" altogether! Much of the fear that clinicians have about discussing stuttering with children stems from an old theory (the so-called "diagnosogenic

Read more