How is it that a parent and clinician can share such similar beliefs about stuttering and speech therapy, and yet experience such friction when discussing these same topics?
This is a public post of an e-mail written for a colleague. Comments please!
I have been turning over this notion of the relationship between diagnosis and treatment in our field, trying to distill all these myriad thoughts. What I've arrived at is:
Around six sessions into working with a client, the following conversation inevitably arises:
Client: "You know, I am so glad I started doing this. I've been so self-conscious about my way of speaking for so long. Now, I feel more confident, I'm talking a lot more...I feel so much better about interacting with people."
Me: "That's great to hear!"
Client: "I can't believe I didn't do this sooner! I love coming here." *Laughs* " But my spouse still doesn't know that I'm in speech therapy."
Your child is six, nine, twelve. Maybe he's been stuttering since he was two or three, or maybe you just started noticing it in third grade. Maybe she went through speech therapy in preschool, or maybe it seemed more prudent to "wait and see". Maybe the stutter went away, either on its own or apparently thanks to therapy. Maybe it's fluctuated, coming and going. Maybe it's always been there, regardless of what you've tried. Maybe your child got tired of going to therapy or it was just too hard to get to appointments, or it didn't seem to work.
Maybe you are thinking about speech therapy. For the fourth time, or for the first time. Will it help?