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Date: 12 Oct 2008
Time: 12:03:01 -0500
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Mark, In short, yes, I am board for getting stuttering therapy out of the mud where it is deeply buried. You mention social anxiety disorder and I think that's where the terminology arguments you mention come into play. The fear of the consequences of stuttering that people who stutter have is completely normal under the circumstances. And that is demonstrated continually by the reaction of SLP students when they are asked to go out into the streets and stores to do pseudo-stuttering to see what their future clients are up against. They refuse to carry out the assignment, they sabotage or minimize it. Why? Because they have already been so effectively socialized that stuttering is a sign of lower intelligence, shame, failure or incompetence. And they are fluent speakers who know theoretically that their exercise is just pretend. Rather than SAD I think its more accurate to view the mechanism that fuels stuttering as post-traumatic stress disorder. Every incident of stuttering and the memories of adverse consequences is a mini-trauma. All the scanning for feared sounds, words and situations that we do would be technically labelled hypervigilance by experts in PTSD -- if they ever turned their attention to stuttering. The point is that their are crucial elements of stuttering that are way above the pay grade of SLPs. We who stutter do violate speech mechanics in our maladaptive struggle and that is where SLPs have their main expertise but their is so much more to stuttering that speech mechanics. That is why I advocate bringing in experts who possess the other needed tool to work with SLPs in a coordinated multidisciplinary treatment team. I know the reasons many SLPs oppose this idea and some of those reasons are unfortunately little more that selfish turf protection. But other progressive SLPs who put the needs of their stuttering clients first would welcome such an approach. So, Mark: Are you on board for the collaborative multidisciplinary treatment team which I advocate.