From Stuttering to Accent Modification
Your child's stuttering will be assessed by you Speech Pathologist in a number of informal methods. This will typically involve having a general conversation with your child. During this conversation your Speech Pathologist will take notes on the different types of stuttering present and what situations affect their stuttering severity. This assessment may also involve a discussion with you as the parent to collect information about when the stutter began, how often they stutter and which situations make the stuttering more severe.
You may often see a Speech Pathologist use a special machine to calculate how severe your child's stuttering is. This machine calculates the percentage of syllables your child speaks that are stuttered in a particular time frame. This method is not used by all Speech Pathologists so don't be surprised if you don't see this happening during the session!
There are many therapy programs that have been developed specifically for stuttering that your Speech Pathologist may use. Each program is selected in regards to your child's age. Each therapy program includes you as a parent recording daily stuttering severity ratings at home. This enables your Speech Pathologist to determine how effective the program is for your child as they will be able to clearly see the progress they are making.
The most popular programs are summarised below:
The Lidcombe Program: This program is targeted at children aged between 3 years and 5 years of age. This is focused on teaching 'smooth speech'. Many verbal contingencies are used by parents and the Speech Pathologist to retrain your child's fluency.
The Camperdown Program: This program is targeted for children older than 12 years old. This is largely focused on speech restructuring to develop control of stuttering behaviours.
Stuttering is the term used by Speech Pathologists to describe continued involuntary sounds or movements many people experience while communicating. These sounds or movements are characterised by the following:
Blocking: This describes when an individual seems to 'get stuck' with a particular sound or word. They will often not make any sound at all but their mouth and tongue may appear to be 'grasping' for the word.
Repetitions: This describes when an individual repeats a sound, word or phrase multiple times before they are able to continue the rest of their sentence. This typically occurs at the start of a word, although difficulties can occur during all parts of a word or sentence.
Associated behaviours: This describes the body or face movements some people will make alongside a block or repetition. This may involve head nodding, blinking or closing eyes completely, hand tapping or whole body movements.
Holder of NSW Working With Children's Check
Providing comprehensive assessments and therapy to all communication disorders for children and adults.
The Australian Stuttering Research Centre has many resources and further details into how stuttering is treated by your Speech Pathologist.
You are encouraged to follow the above link to read more information about each of the mentioned programs and learn about many other that can be used.
ASSESSMENT AND THERAPY
The assessment and therapy process for this specialised service occurs on a week-to-week basis. This will depend on goals and experiences that have developed outside of the clinic session. Your Speech Pathologist may ask you to construct a list of words that others have identified as being difficult to understand.
Accent modification is a process that some Speech Pathologist offer to individuals with English as a Second Language. As an individual who does not have English as their primary language, it can be difficult to get your nmessagea cross clearly in English speaking communities. A Speech Pathologist can help you by making your speech clearer, while leaving your accent in place if you choose so. The purpose of therapy in this context is to either slow your speech while still sounding natural, or teaching you how to produce phonemes not used i your natural dialect. This can include learning 'v' in Germanic dialects, or 'r' in Asian dialects.