So, to get us all up to speed on "stuttering stereotypes for 2019," (hint: there ain't no such thing!) here are three examples of recent nuanced portrayals of stuttering on screen. These characters are not villains, dunces, or terrified of their own shadow. With 70 million PWS around the globe, we finally have a growing collection of on-screen stories with people who stutter as regular people with hopes, dreams and love interests.
National Stuttering Association: Provides support, friendship, and information to the stuttering community. Hosts annual conference bringing together hundreds of people who stutter and their loved ones, and has local chapters throughout the country.
FRIENDS: Provides support, education, and empowerment to children and teens who stutter, their families and clinicians. Hosts annual convention and regional one-day conferences throughout the year. Offers mentor/mentee program - Stepping Up
Shared Voices: Community center in the greater Chicagoland community providing a home for people who stutter, and people impacted by stuttering, by creating a safe space and meaningful opportunities for connection.
SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young: Empowers, educates, and supports young people who stutter and the world that surrounds them. Programs include summer camp, speech therapy, and after-school programs.
Cluttering is one of the main speech disorders we treat here at Speech IRL. This communication challenge is also one of the most overlooked. Below, we've provided some information and treatment recommendations for those who clutter.
The “other” fluency disorder
One of the most famous fluency disorders is stuttering. A "fluency disorder" is best described as a disorder which impacts the flow and rate of speech. Cluttering is also a fluency disorder and it affects how a person's speech is perceived by listeners.
What is cluttering?
A 2011 study by St. Louis and Schulte define cluttering as a perceived rapid and/or irregular speech rate, which results in breakdowns in speech clarity and/or fluency.
When I tell people that speech IRL is a “speech therapy and inclusion consulting firm,” I get a lot of quizzical looks. As we spend more and more time working with companies, HR departments, heads of talent, and D&I (diversity and inclusion)/DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) committees, I’ve struggled to concisely articulate how we got here from speech therapy.
Thankfully, a new large-scale study on the merits of diversity training breaks it down. The name “speech IRL” is based on the principle that learning what to do is easy, but the real measure of change and progress is actually doing something “in real life”-- which is far more challenging. The research conclusions Chang et al, in partnership with the Wharton School, echo almost word-for-word the founding principles of our practice.
How would we feel if we didn’t take a shower? Maybe we spent the day running errands, or commuting to and from work, or attending a yoga or spin class. If we didn’t take time to get clean—even if it’s just after a normal day—we would feel pretty disgusting. On many different levels, hygiene is a good thing!
Just as important as day-to-day hygiene is vocal hygiene. Vocal hygiene is something that we don't normally think about, and our voice can suffer because of it. The goal of a vocal hygiene program is to protect our voice so it can complete all of the tasks we want it to do throughout the day.
Vocal hygiene can be broken down into three areas:
The concept of "mindfulness" has been buzzing around lately. What does it really mean and what does it have to do with communication?
Let's tackle some FAQ's.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness means being present. That can be, present to your thoughts, present to physical sensations, taste, touch, sight, sound, smell, or present to your feelings. What you can notice in a single moment is boundless, but often our minds draw us in to a limited portion of the experience.
What better way to welcome the New Year than with new additions to the team! One of our 2019 goals (you could even call it a resolution) is to expand our clinician training and mentoring opportunities, not only within our practice, but in our larger professional community. We are excited to welcome a number of graduate student interns this calendar year. Each of them will be with us for several months, working directly with clients and supporting practice activities.
This term, we welcome Sarah Klusak of New York University (NYU) and Erin Brophy of Northwestern University (NU). We asked them to share a little bit about themselves as they begin their first week.
Treating young children who stutter: Indirect or direct?
A recent study1 used a randomized control trial (highest level of evidence), to determine the effectiveness of Lidcombe vs. RESTART-DCM for treating preschool children who stutter. The researchers found that at 18 months, clinical outcomes for direct and indirect treatment were comparable. The authors conclude that both treatments are equally effective in treating developmental stuttering in ways that surpass expectations of natural recovery.
Mice that stutter: Genetics and stuttering
Mice with a GNPTAB mutation (a gene thought to be involved in stuttering) displayed less vocalizations and more frequent longer pauses than mice without the mutation2.
The genes identified in stuttering all point to a single process, intracellular trafficking, but only account for at most 20% of persistent stuttering cases3.
Bottom line: Stuttering is genetic, but this isn’t the whole picture.
COVID-19 Update: All services, including consultations, individual sessions, and group classes, are provided online via Zoom videoconferencing. Insurance coverage for online services is the same as for in-office services. Contact us to learn more or get started today.