Stories of People Who Stutter

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Re: some questions

From: David Shapiro
Date: 03 Oct 2011
Time: 09:38:25 -0500
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Hi Ari, Thanks for your questions and comments. To clarify, each of the individuals and I – together, in collaboration – addressed the A, B, and Cs (the feelings – affect, thoughts – cognition, in addition to behaviors). Given the different skill sets and life experiences of each person, the manner of our approach was individualized. Indeed rapid tongue protrusion was a part of Jonathan’s stuttering profile. With Jonathan, our intervention was more behavioral than with the other two individuals. Recall that Jonathan was directed with “No rush” and “No Shout.” As a consequence, Jonathan’s tongue protrusions disappeared (“They’re gone.”), but did return following unpredictable seizure activity. In any case, the point is that reducing the frequency of the observed stuttering is a measure of success, but clearly not the only one and perhaps not necessarily the most significant. Jonathan, like the other two, achieved a freedom of communication that was defined individually, being able to participate in and contribute to regular communication with increased confidence, strength, and personal satisfaction. I think part of your question is inquiring about how you can similarly achieve a reduction in a disfluency symptom that appears similar on the surface (i.e., tongue tensing). How I wish I could give an easy answer. If the only focus were eliminating disfluency behaviors, I probably could respond with ease. However, given that the tongue behavior is only one part of a much larger profile, my answer would need to take into account your present skill set, the nature of your previous and present experiences in communication and in life, and your dreams for the future. Surely I would need to know far more about you. If you would like to “dialogue” further outside of this forum, please feel welcome. You might be interested in taking a look at the recent revision of my book (Stuttering Intervention: A Collaborative Journey to Fluency Freedom, 2nd ed., 2011, This goes into detail about how I design treatment with each individual. Good luck and thanks again. David

Last changed: 10/03/11