Belinda Hill & Associates Speech-Language Pathologists - TheraBee™ Programs

Services for Adults - Fluency Difficulties
What is it?  
What is a fluency problem?
A fluency problem, otherwise known as stuttering or stammering is when the flow of speech is disrupted by:
  • Repetitions
    These can be repetitions of individual sounds
    in words e.g. “H…H…How many sugars would you like in your coffee”
  • Whole words and phrases
    e.g. “Can, Can, Can I please have two”
  • Prolongations
    i.e. when sounds in a word are extended e.g. “Mmmummy name is …”
  • Blocks
    i.e. when a word is ‘stuck’ and there is a silence/pause in speech production as a result.
    This is sometimes accompanied by facial grimaces and or groping
Issues
Issues associated with stuttering:
It is not uncommon for people who stutter to report that confidence and self-esteem have been affected because of their difficulty maintaining fluency when speaking. This can result in:-
  • withdrawal from social situations
  • anxiety about speaking

Assessment

What to expect at an assessment:

If stuttering is suspected, a referral to a speech pathologist is recommended.
Assessment usually involves gathering a detailed case history, perceptual evaluation and measurement of syllables stuttered in a variety of speaking contexts in the initial consultation. Assessment will determine whether a stutter exists and the severity. Stuttering is generally characterised by a range from mild – severe based on frequency and number of repetitions.

Management

As the cause of stuttering is still unknown there is no “cure” for stuttering, however, there are evidence based therapy techniques to assist in treatment and management. Some techniques are outlined below:-
For adolescents and adults the most frequently used therapy technique is “prolonged speech”. This technique allows the individual to use a new speech pattern that replaces stuttering in speech. It enables the individual to manage their speech fluency (The Camperdown Program). Therapy duration is dependent on a client’s response to the intervention process.
Additional techniques include:
  • S.I.T.O. (Self imposed time out)
  • cognitive behavioural therapy to address psychosocial implications of stuttering.

If confidence and social changes are directly related to stuttering, a speech pathologist may be able to address these while also increasing fluency. In some cases, a referral to a psychologist may also be recommended.

 
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Phone: 02 4736 8151 | Fax: 02 4736 8171 | Email: info@therabee.com
 
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