Did you know that October 22 was International Stuttering Awareness Day? To help raise awareness for this speech fluency disorder, Speech Associates of NY is dedicating our blogs to stuttering awareness for the second half of October. Today, we’ll talk a little bit about how speech therapy for stuttering works and what a person who stutters can expect from therapy.
Speech therapy for fluency falls into two main categories: therapy to help reduce the frequency and severity of the stutter and accompanying behaviors, and therapy that addresses the psychological aspects of stuttering that can cause stress and further breakdowns in communication.
In order to reduce the stutter itself, speech therapists typically work with patients to change the timing of speech or reduce physical tension while speaking. Timing changes often include slowing the rate of speech or stretching out sounds which may produce a stutter. Tension reduction is often achieved by practicing gentle or soft onsets to words.
The other part of speech therapy for fluency often focuses on decreasing fear or stress that may accompany the anticipation of a stutter. Everyone who stutters deals with their disfluency in a different way. For many people, speaking becomes associated with negativity and fear, which can inhibit the ability to communicate on a day-to-day basis. A speech-language pathologist will work with an individual who stutters to develop the confidence to say what they want to say, when they want to say it, regardless of if they stutter or not. In some situations, decreasing anxiety can also help lessen the impact of a stuttering moment and help the individual to move through the moment more quickly and easily.
At Speech Associates of NY, stuttering is a topic near and dear to our heart–as therapists, we’ve seen the impact that successful speech therapy can have on a person’s life. Several years ago a man called seeking services for his brother whose stutter was so severe, he was unable to call us directly. When he did speak with us on the phone, his stutter was so severe he was unable to convey his name or his address. After working with one of our therapists, he gradually gained increasing control over his speech. His increased fluency helped him gain the confidence and ability to communicate effectively in both his personal and professional life.
Do you stutter or have a child or family member who stutters? Share your experience in the comments section below!
For information on our New York based Speech-Language Pathology services, please call Speech Associates of New York today at (212) 308-7725 or visit our website at http://www.speechassociatesofny.com and find out how our team of professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists can help!
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