Monday, November 13, 1995

Specializing in stuttering therapy

To a therapist claiming that it's not "good" to simply specialize in stuttering (he'd rather work on a broad range of speech problems).

Why not if it DOES work? There is something to be gained from "holistic"
approaches, in fact MUCH to be gained, when the areas considered have a
fundamental bearing on each other. The "specialist" in stuttering might
well have to be a generalist in neurology, psychology, phonology etc.

I feel that sometimes we are stuck with classifications that are based
on old fundamental misunderstandings about problems. The appropriatedness
of classifying stuttering with many other phonation problems should be
revisited in light of what we are beginning to understand.

Please note that I speak as a stutterer, not a SLP, and I have no specific
knowledge to make me doubt that you have personally been very successful in
working with stutterers. I can only say that, as a consumer, and given
the simple fact that so much therapy is ultimately unsuccessful, I would feel
much more comfortable knowing that my therapist or my son's therapist is
totally focused on, and knowledgeable in, the peculiarities of this stubborn

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