When I assess stuttering I seek to understand how the stuttering presents at that time, both in my clinic and in the person’s life. I also assess how the stuttering has developed or changed over time.
I ask lots of questions to gain this understanding, and provide you with the opportunity to ask me questions about stuttering.
For example, I might ask:
- When did the stuttering start?
- What did it sound like? What does it sound like now?
- Has the stuttering stopped and started, or been present since onset?
- Is there a family history of stuttering?
- Is the person aware of the stuttering?
- How do others respond to the stuttering?
What happens during the stuttering assessment?
The client’s stuttering is measured during conversation or play in the clinic. I listen to preschool-age children while we are playing with toys, to obtain a natural sample.
School-age children may also like to play or talk about their interests while their stuttering is measured. I measure stuttering in older children, adolescents and adults during conversation with me as well as while they read aloud.
I also ask parents to bring a recording of their young child to the assessment, as stuttering is cyclical, and may not be present at the time of the assessment.
By the end of the assessment appointment I expect that you will have a better understanding of stuttering. I will make recommendations regarding treatment.
The Lidcombe Program is the treatment I recommend for stuttering in preschool-age clients; the timing of this treatment depends on the child and is something I will discuss with each client.
School-age children may require a slight modification of the the Lidcombe Program for a successful outcome. With adolescents and adults there are various treatment options, mostly different methods of speech restructuring, to discuss.