The Stuttering Clinic is probably not located behind your corner shops. Inconvenient! So why trek across town to see me at The Stuttering Clinic?
Speech pathologists are health professionals trained to assess and treat communication and swallowing disorders. Some speech pathologists, like myself, have a particular interest in certain disorders and considerably more experience in assessing and treating them. My caseload solely comprises of people who stutter.
Speech pathology practice, like other areas of medical science, is changing at an increasingly rapid rate. Working in one area allows me to keep up to date in it. This is important because even though stuttering is a well known communication disorder, ineffective treatment can have lifelong consequences.
Did you know that living with stuttering increases the risk of psychological disorders? Many adults who stutter also live with a social anxiety disorder. General anxiety and mood disorders are more likely after years of living with stuttering. School children can be bullied or choose to marginalise themselves owing to the stuttering, both of which can lead to these psychological difficulties.
Did you know that stuttering can be treated effectively during the preschool years? The same treatments are less successful with school-age children. By adolescence and adulthood stuttering can be managed only.
Many children I treat have seen another speech pathologist for stuttering and not made progress. Treatment is so much more straightforward if I can start with you. If you come to me down the track we often need to undo what wasn’t working. This is particularly tricky when clients have been sensitised to components of the treatment. Even when this hasn’t happened many children aren’t happy to start treatment again because they’re tired of it already.
It’s best to do treatment properly from the outset. Make sure the speech pathologist you see has tangible expertise in stuttering. Any Certified Practising Speech Pathologist can list an interest in any communication disorder; they are qualified to treat it. But, I recommend asking whether they’ve used the treatment before, how often and with what ages. Ask them about their treatment outcomes.
Treatment for stuttering is a lengthy process. Do it right, from the start, for the best possible outcome.