J. Scott Yaruss, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, F-ASHA, is a Professor of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University. Dr. Yaruss is a board-certified specialist in fluency disorders and has served on the board of directors for the National Stuttering Association and as Associate Coordinator for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Special Interest Division for Fluency Disorders. His research examines factors that may contribute to the development of stuttering in young children as well as methods for assessing and evaluating treatment outcomes in children and adults who stutter.
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Part one of this two-part course will describe strategies for helping to insulate the child who stutters from the effects of bullying. These strategies include desensitization to stuttering and desensitization to bullying in preparation for learning how to respond effectively to bullying to reduce the likelihood of further bullying. Part one focuses on the process of helping children who stutter become less affected when bullied by other children. Desensitization to stuttering and bullying, and learning appropriate responses to bullying, can help to insulate children so bullying is less likely to affect them. Learn more
Parents, teachers, and especially peers can play a significant role in reducing the likelihood of bullying for children who stutter. Part two of this two-part course will review specific strategies for educating those in the child’s environment.
Many speech-language pathologists express that they are uncomfortable evaluating and treating school-age children who stutter. Part one of this three-part course is designed to help clinicians learn more about the nature of stuttering so they will be able to determine which school-age children are most likely to benefit from stuttering therapy. The course will begin with a description of the experience of stuttering from the perspective of children who live with this condition, followed by a detailed discussion of appropriate evaluation processes that lead to the development of comprehensive, individualized treatment programs. The purpose of the diagnostic evaluation for school-age children who stutter is to determine the appropriate time for treatment. Children who are ready to benefit from treatment will exhibit adverse impact as a result of their stuttering. Children who are experiencing minimal impact should not be enrolled in treatment, though there are still several ways that clinicians can support the child’s communication skills both in and out of the school setting. Learn more
Treatment for school-age children who stutter can involve strategies for modifying the impairment (that is, the observable disruptions in speech). Before introducing these strategies, however, clinicians should first lay a strong foundation for both speech and stuttering modifications by helping the child learn about the speech mechanism and about stuttering. Part two of this three-part course describes the processes for developing this strong foundation and for teaching strategies that help students modify their stuttering and improve their speech fluency. Learn more
Children who stutter are likely to experience negative reactions to their speaking difficulties—both within themselves and within their environment. Part three of this course will address these negative reactions to help children cope effectively with stuttering and to create a supportive environment. Stuttering can be a challenging condition for school-age children. Still, there is much that speech-language pathologists can do to help children overcome the burden of their speaking difficulties. This is best achieved through a comprehensive approach to therapy, which involves more than just changes in speech fluency. Therapy addressing the child’s negative reactions as well as the reactions of those in the child’s environment can help to create a future in which the child is able to communicate freely and effectively, regardless of whether or how much he stutters. This is the true goal of stuttering therapy; this course is designed to help clinicians achieve this goal. Learn more
Many children experience improvements in their speech fluency simply through changes that parents might make to create a fluency-facilitating environment. Some children, however, need additional therapy that focuses more directly on their speech development in order to further enhance their fluency. This is part three of a three-part series on young children who stutter, which will include a description of the more direct aspects of speech therapy.
The purpose of this 3-part course is to present a comprehensive approach to evaluating and treating young children who stutter. Part 1 of the course will begin with an overview of early childhood stuttering, followed by a discussion of the evaluation procedures required for determining whether a child is at risk for developing chronic stuttering (and therefore in need of treatment). Part 2 will continue with details about treatment focused on helping parents create an environment that fosters the child’s development of increased speech fluency, healthy communication attitudes, and good communication skills. Part 3 will include a discussion of more direct strategies for helping the child enhance speech fluency. Participants will gain insights into how and why stuttering develops in some children, as well as specific techniques for helping to increase the likelihood that children will overcome stuttering and develop typical speech fluency.
Treatment for young children who stutter can involve strategies for working with families (to create a fluency-facilitating environment) and strategies for working directly with the child (to help the child improve speech fluency). This course will provide an overview of strategies for working with families. The goals of the early stages of treatment are to help parents identify and minimize factors in the child’s environment that may affect speech fluency, while simultaneously working to ensure that a child develops healthy, appropriate attitudes toward communication. This is part two in a three-part series on working with young children who stutter.
Appropriate evaluation and successful treatment of stuttering requires valid and reliable measurement of both the stuttering behavior and the broader experiences that people who stutter may face in their lives. Unfortunately, research has shown that speech-language pathologists are often not consistent in their assessment of this condition. The purpose of this two-part series is to help clinicians develop the skills they need to evaluate stuttering. Part 1 of this two part series, Issues in the Measurement of Stuttering discusses several key issues that need to be considered in the measurement of stuttering (including factors affecting the counting of disfluencies and issues related to the broader stuttering disorder). Learn more
Understanding the stuttering disorder requires more than a simple count of stuttering behaviors. Although a reliable and valid count of behavior may form the foundation for some aspects of clinical decision-making, a broader view of the entire condition is critical to planning individualized, yet comprehensive, therapy. This course, the second in a two-part series on the clinical measurement of stuttering, addresses other aspects of the stuttering disorder—in addition to the stuttering behavior itself—that clinicians will want to consider during assessment. Specific factors to be discussed include the speaker’s reactions to stuttering, the functional communication difficulties a speaker may experience as a result of stuttering, and the overall adverse impact that stuttering may have on the speaker’s quality of life. Learn more
Speech-language pathologists who work with individuals who stutter do more than simply teach speech techniques. Because of the complexity of the stuttering disorder, therapists often find themselves addressing both attitudinal and emotional aspects of the speaker’s experience of stuttering. Unfortunately, many clinicians report that they are less comfortable working with these components of the stuttering disorder. This course (part one of three in this course series) will discuss some of the key aspects of the counseling process that clinicians can apply to their work with individuals who stutter. Specifically, the course will provide clinicians with a high-level overview of a model of change that can help them guide their clients through the process of therapy so they can achieve their best possible outcomes from intervention. This is the first in a three course series. Learn more
Understanding the process of change provides clinicians with a strong foundation for guiding their clients through therapy. Knowing this big picture is not sufficient, however, because clinicians must also become experienced in using specific counseling strategies that help clients make their way through that process of change. This course (part two of a three part series) will help clinicians develop these counseling strategies by describing several key skills that can be used both in and out of treatment to help clients better understand their situation and work in concrete ways toward a preferred future, whether that involves improved fluency, better communication attitudes, or both. This is the second in a three course series. Learn more
Successful therapy involves more than just a series of good sessions, the clinician saying the “right thing,” or the client feeling good about the process. In truth, the best metric of the success of a counseling interaction is whether the client achieves progress toward making desired changes. In stuttering therapy, this may mean that the client improves his or her speech fluency, communication attitudes, or both. Achieving these challenging goals typically involves a process of change—not just learning a lesson or practicing a strategy but developing new behavior and thought patterns. It also means overcoming roadblocks to success associated with the difficulty in making meaningful changes in one’s life. Part 3 of this course will show how the various counseling microskills reviewed in Part 2 can play a role in helping clients move toward making changes in their lives as shown in the skilled helper model (described in Part 1). The goal will be for clinicians to understand the “big picture” as it relates to helping individuals who stutter improve their ability to communicate and reduce the adverse impact of stuttering on their lives, so they can move through a process of change and overcome roadblocks that may arise. This is the final course in a three part series. Be sure to also watch:
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