The School-Age Stuttering Program
A comprehensive treatment program for school-aged children who stutter
St Cloud State University'sSpeech-Language and Hearing Clinic offers a treatment program for school-aged children who stutter and their parents. Both group and individual therapy are offered. Treatment sessions are led by CSD students under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Smits-Bandstra and Lori Griffin. Students have the opportunity to learn individual and group therapy principles and procedures in stuttering and cluttering, methods of assessment, and therapy techniques. Students also have opportunities to conduct research and present at local and national conventions.
Treatment emphasizes confident successful communication, however each family can choose to focus on specific speech tools, self-acceptance and positive attitudes toward speaking, or both. The group provides practice of therapy techniques in a more realistic social environment. In group or individual sessions children will learn and practice new fluency-enhancing techniques as well asl learn strategies that focus on improving their confidence and ability to successfully participate in conversations, reading, presentations, and other communicative contexts. Children will also have a chance to read books about kids who stutter, watch movies about kids who stutter, and meet with other kids who stutter (www.friendswhostutter.org/).
This treatment is integrated. This means that it involves teaching the child to change speech movements and participate with confidence and success in speaking situations. It teaches parents to provide support and acceptance at home, as well as teaching educators to address bullying and teasing at school. School-age stuttering treatment is not a cure (less than 10% of children over age six recover from stuttering). However, stuttering therapy techniques, such as those taught at St Cloud State University's Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic, have been proven effective to reduce stuttering severity in recent scientific research studies (Conture & Yaruss, 2009).
As part of the School-Age Stuttering Program the child attends session 1 or 2 times per week. Regular games/activities are provided for home practice. This continues until the child expresses their relative control and confidence in desired speaking situations. Visits are then scheduled less frequently, as needed because it is well known that stuttering may sporadically reappear after a successful treatment.
Presentations and Publications:
Smits-Bandstra, S., & Yovetich, Y. (2003). Treatment effectiveness for school aged children who stutter. Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, 27(2), 125.