Stuttering: Stuttering Modification Therapy

Stuttering is a complicated disorder that can cause significant damage to a person’s ability to communicate clearly and with confidence. Today we’ll continue our series on different types of stuttering therapy with a look at what is considered “traditional stuttering therapy”: stuttering modification.

Last week we discussed fluency shaping, a type of stuttering therapy that focuses on changing speech patterns on the whole with the aim of reducing the incidence of stuttering. Stuttering modification therapy differs in that it focuses on the moment of stuttering itself rather than the individual’s speech in general. Although each speech-language pathologist may approach stuttering modification in their own way dependent on the needs and preferences of the client, there are several steps that are generally included. First, the focus is put on simply identifying and desensitizing moments of stuttering. The philosophy behind this step is that it is impossible to gain control of and modify the moment of stuttering unless one is able to be present in that moment. Next, the stutter is modified. It’s important to note, this doesn’t mean eliminating the stutter—it simply means manipulating it. For example, if the client typically stutters on the word “speech” by prolonging the “s”, a goal may be to try to repeat the “s” multiple times voluntarily as the word is spoken. By being able to change the way a stutter is produced, the individual gains control over it.

Next week we’ll address the final step in stuttering modification: strategies for reducing the tension and severity of the stutter itself.

Are you a person who stutters? What strategies have worked for you? Share your first-hand experience in the comments section!

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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