Published on January 29, 2008
Fluency Treatment for Big Kids: Fluency Treatment for Big Kids Lynne Shields Fontbonne University Department of Communication Disorders & Deaf Education What’s your comfort level?Choice A:: What’s your comfort level? Choice A: I LOVE working with big kids who stutter! Choice B:: Choice B: I’m a bit apprehensive about working with a big kid who stutters. Choice C:: Choice C: I don’t want to see a big kid who stutters walk through my door!! What can I do for you???Goals for today:: What can I do for you??? Goals for today: Group A: A few new ideas and/or resources B & C: Increase level of comfort by giving you some tools Definition of “Big Kids”: Definition of “Big Kids” Children between the ages of 9-18. OR, anyone who is in the pre-adolescent or adolescent stage of maturation. Assessment for Those Big Kids : Assessment for Those Big Kids Components: Thorough case history/interview with parents/teacher/child Evaluate speech & language abilities Good description of features of child’s stuttering Evaluation of awareness and attitudes of about stuttering Find out child’s interests/goals 1) Interview: 1) Interview Interview child, parent, teacher(s) Good templates for questionnaire forms in Guitar (1998) “Stuttering: An integrated approach to its nature and treatment” Teacher Questionnairesample questionsfrom Chmela & Reardon (2001): Teacher Questionnaire sample questions from Chmela & Reardon (2001) Some things I have noticed about this child’s communication are… When this child answers questions in class he/she… When this child speaks to me at my desk… When this child reads aloud… My knowledge about stuttering is… Most importantly, right now I need to know… Parent Questionnaire(from Chmela & Reardon, 2001): Parent Questionnaire (from Chmela & Reardon, 2001) My greatest concerns regarding my child’s speech problem are… I feel my child is/is not concerned about his/her speech problem because… When my child stutters, I feel… When my child stutters, I say/do… My knowledge about stuttering is… From previous therapy, if any, I learned… 2) Evaluate Speech & Language Abilities: 2) Evaluate Speech & Language Abilities Children who stutter are more likely to have co-occurring speech and/or language problems Be sure to check for this through case history & screen for these areas Evaluate in-depth as needed 3) Description of Stuttering : 3) Description of Stuttering Types of disfluencies Presence of struggle behaviors e.g. effort while speaking, tension Presence of avoidance behaviors e.g. word substitutions, avoiding speaking situations 4) Evaluation of Awareness/Attitudes: 4) Evaluation of Awareness/Attitudes Do not assume that a child is not bothered by his/her speech based on their verbal report. Older children and teens are prone to give non-specific answers. Give attitude scales/have them evaluate scenarios/etc. 5) Determine Child’s Goals: 5) Determine Child’s Goals Ask your big kid what bothers them the most about their speech. Ask them what they are interested in or willing to work on. Just as importantly, ask what they are not willing or interested in working on. Compare child’s answers to parental wishes/expectations Treating Stuttering: Treating Stuttering Fluency-Shaping = train child to alter mode of speaking to produce speech that is 100% fluent. Stuttering Modification = focus on shaping stuttering to more easy, less disruptive form; focus on feelings/attitudes Best Bet = Combination of both, tailored to fit child. Canned programs fit about as well as those one-size-fits all garments!! Goals of Fluency Therapy for Children (Manning, 2001): Goals of Fluency Therapy for Children (Manning, 2001) Gain understanding of speech mechanism Enhance speech fluency Manage stuttering that occurs Deal with emotions and attitudes Address relapse A. Understand the Speech Mechanism: A. Understand the Speech Mechanism How it works for normal speaking. What happens to me when I get stuck on words. Learn about stuttering: what it is, who stutters, reasons why, etc. **Don’t assume that an older child already knows all of this!! B. Help child choose tools that enhance speech fluency: B. Help child choose tools that enhance speech fluency Goal = speech that is smooth, produced without effort Typical tools: - gradual and relaxed use of vocal folds (easy onset) -slower rate of speaking (stretching) -gradual, smooth transitions sound-to-sound -light articulatory contacts (light touch) -keeping an open vocal tract Choosing Fluency Tools (continued): Choosing Fluency Tools (continued) When selecting tools be sure that: The tool(s) are comfortable for the child. The tool(s) is/are used in such a way that speech sounds as natural as possible. This will help tremendously with generalization. C. Help child manage their stuttering: C. Help child manage their stuttering Goal: Learn to change the form of stuttering that occurs, modify Learn terms and explain concepts. May want to have child try new ways of stuttering. Voluntary stuttering as a tool. D. Help child deal with emotions and attitudes related to stuttering: D. Help child deal with emotions and attitudes related to stuttering This area frequently needs to be addressed. Some ways to do this: Desensitization Activities Focus on the Message Problem-solving Desensitization Activities: Desensitization Activities Voluntary stuttering-have a contest Water balloons, water pistols (Bill Murphy) Art work Journaling Writing stories Interviewing about stuttering BE CREATIVE! Message Therapy(Cooperman & Bloom, 2001): Message Therapy (Cooperman & Bloom, 2001) What makes a good message? -good content -clear presentation -good eye contact -saying what you want to say Get away from over-focus on fluency. This therapy was designed for younger children, but I find the ideas very useful, even with adults. Engage child in problem-solving: Engage child in problem-solving Child can learn to solve their own problems related to speech, e.g., teasing, oral presentations, etc. -classroom presentation about stuttering, paper -writing letters to teachers -figuring out ways to tell people not to interrupt not to complete sentences Address the issue of relapse: Address the issue of relapse For older children, relapse is a likely possibility. help child and parents develop plan for how they will handle, if occurs. Learn to: -see themselves as good managers of their own speech -reduce likelihood of depression when relapse occurs MAKE A PLAN WITH CHILD—”here’s what I’m going to do if I start to get stuck again…” Indicators of Progress in Therapy(Manning, 2001): Indicators of Progress in Therapy (Manning, 2001) Increase in ability to self-monitor Increase in ability to produce ‘open speech’ Decrease in frequency/duration of fluency breaks Increase in normal speech formulation breaks Increase in naturalness of speech Metalinguistic changes Increase in open decision-making/decreased avoidance Increased sense of self-worth/self-esteem Working with Classroom Teachers: Working with Classroom Teachers Teachers can be good allies in working with children who stutter. Help educate them about stuttering & engage them Regular in-servicing for teachers with students who stutter is vital—they need information and feedback. Student can become more involved in dealing with teachers as he/she progresses through grades. Working with Parents and Siblings: Working with Parents and Siblings Parent/sibling education about stuttering Engage parents in treatment when possible Creating a ‘Stutter-Friendly’ Home Stuttering is O.K. No teasing at home Involve in support group FRIENDS & NSA sponsor annual conventions and local family-based events Resources: Resources Internet resources IEP Goals Therapy Ideas and Materials Reference list [See your handout] Good Videos for Big Kids & Their SLPs: Good Videos for Big Kids & Their SLPs Stuttering Foundation of America series include: Straight Talk for Teens Straight Talk for Teachers (watch this one) Stuttering: For Kids by Kids Question & Answer Time: Question & Answer Time (The answers won’t all come from me!) Now get out there and have fun!: Now get out there and have fun!