Stuttering: Approaches to Treatment

A stutter can be an extremely difficult obstacle in any child’s life. Therefore, it’s not surprising that a common therapy goal for children who stutter and their families is increased fluency of speech. However, attempting to eliminate a stutter is not the only approach to speech therapy. Rather, a broader goal for a person who stutters may be to say whatever they want to say, whenever they want to say it. This goal doesn’t necessarily focus on an increase in fluency. There are many factors other than the stutter itself which may be inhibiting the person’s freedom of speech.

Living with a stutter can be an extremely complex psychological and emotional situation. While a fluency disorder impacts each person differently, it can often produce negative associations with speaking and communication. The resulting fears and discomfort oftentimes inhibit an individual from speaking in certain situations, with certain people, or with as much comfort as they would if they did not stutter. For this reason, a speech-language pathologist and the client may choose to work on these issues rather than simply attempting to increase fluency. This helps the person to say what they want to say, when they want to say it, regardless of whether they stutter while saying it. One way this is addressed is via group sessions organized by the speech-language pathologist, in which several people of the same age or with similar interests who stutter come together and discuss the issues that they encounter on a day-to-day basis, and how they overcome them.

Next week we’ll continue to discuss fluency disorders and some approaches taken in therapy.

Do you think that you or someone you know may benefit from the services of a speech-language pathologist? Contact Speech Associates of New York at 917-841-2965 or visit us on the web at We’ll pair you with one of our trained and certified speech-language pathologists who can provide in-home therapy to help address your speech, language, and communication needs.


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