Iceberg of Stuttering

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Re: Iceberg Analogy

From: Russ Hicks
Date: 10/13/03
Time: 4:14:23 PM
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Hi Kara,

Who is your professor and where do you go to school? If you've done a class presentation talking about emotions and feelings, I suspect your professor is certainly on the right track. It's relatively easy to attack the audible stuttering, but the emotional parts require a whole new skill set.

My advice? Become a rocket scientist! That's a LOT easier than becoming an SLP! If you know Newton's third law (action/reaction), then you know all you need to about rocket science. It works all the time, every time. We wish that there was a similar law in speech pathology...!

But seriously, I have four fundamental suggestions for you...

1. Take as many courses in psychology as you can. Minor in psychology if possible. You need to become as competent as a psychologist in your work as a speech pathologist working with people who stutter.

2. Be prepared to keep your CEU credits up. Take as many of these as you can get, far more than just the minimum. There is a LOT to learn about stuttering, and more is coming down the pike every day. Join the NSA! Attend an NSA convention if at all possible. (Next year in Baltimore will be a blast!) You'll learn more there than you will ever believe. You can join Stutt-L, the "Stuttering Research and Clinical Practice" internet discussion group. Send me an email if you're interested in this and I can help you. Your education is just starting.

3. Learn to LISTEN. I know the natural tendency in teaching is to speak and educate your clients. But it's extremely important in working with people who stutter to LISTEN to what they are saying. Join Toastmasters where both listening and speaking are taught in a wonderful and fun-filled atmosphere. Next to the NSA, Toastmasters has done me more good than any other organization I know.

4. Read every paper in this conference and add your questions and comments to as many papers as you can. These ISAD conferences are sooooo informative! Judy Kuster does a wonderful sponsoring these things every year. THIS is where the real information on stuttering is shared within the stuttering community.


Now about your questionnaires... It depends on what they are - obviously. It's been said, no doubt correctly, that people who stutter are just like everyone else except that they stutter. Well duh. <smile> So surveys like the Myers-Briggs may not tell you a lot about your clients attitudes towards stuttering, but they certainly may help you learn how to communicate with your client more effectively. At this time stuttering therapy is probably more of an art than a science, so keep your eyes and ears open to what other SLPs are doing and what seems to work - or NOT to work. Trust your instincts.

Good luck in school, Kara. Please stay in touch!


Last changed: September 12, 2005