Project Description

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Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized by disfluencies or disruptions in speech. These disruptions can be characterized by repetitions of sounds or words, blocks (feeling stuck), prolongations of sounds, feeling of tension or tightness, and difficulty with airflow. Many people also experience accessory characteristics such as eye closure, body movement, and adding excessive filler words (e.g. “um, like”). Stuttering can negatively impact a person’s life causing anxiety, avoidance of situations or words, frustration, and decreased self-confidence.

Children often go through a period of stuttering (whole word and syllable repetitions, revisions in speech, and fillers such as “um or uh”) when they are young, especially during a period of rapid language development. If you observe tension during speech in the form of prolongations (prolonging a word “cccccat”) or blocks (stopping the airflow during speech so no sound comes out) this is a sign of stuttering. In addition, accessory behaviors (eye blinks, fist-clenching, etc.), child’s awareness of disfluencies, frustration during speech, or pitch rise in voice all indicate stuttering. When in doubt, contact a speech-language pathologist to discuss your concerns. It is best not to “wait and see” if they grow out of it.

The early years: We provide a variety of treatment options that fit your child and family because there is no “one size fits all” approach. These may include The Lidcombe Program, Palin Parent-Child Interaction therapy, and other direct and indirect therapy options.

School-age and adults: Treatment generally begins with understanding mechanics of stuttering and feelings, thoughts, and emotions associated with it. Although there is much research on stuttering, there is no known cure at this time. Therapy at SSTA aims to help individuals feel more comfortable during stuttering moments. This includes decreasing stress and tension, while decreasing avoidance and escape behaviors and improving confidence in all communication situations. We believe it is important to look at the whole person, not only the physical speech output.

In addition to individual sessions, we offer group therapy for adults who stutter. The focus of the group is avoidance reduction and facing your fears related to communication and stuttering. It is a very supportive group that meets once a week for 90 minutes (currently on Wednesday nights at 6:00 pm. Due to current health conditions, group is conducted online.). If you are interested in group, please contact us and we can help determine if this would be a good fit for you. In most cases, new clients will complete an individual evaluation before joining group to better learn individual goals and how group can fit in with those goals.

If you have questions or are ready to schedule an appointment, please contact us.

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