Why We Must Know More

[ Contents | Search | Next | Previous | Up ]

Re: How do you decide which approach to use at specific times?

From: Darrell Dodge
Date: 20 Oct 2004
Time: 02:39:15 -0500
Remote Name:


Hi: This is an excellent question. Unfortunately, answers are not "pat" ones because the degree and type of exploration, awareness enhancement, confrontation, and behavior change will be different for everyone. In general, however, we would tend to model and encourage more fluency shaping-type behaviors when stuttering is milder or the person is younger, and more stuttering modification-type behavior when the stuttering is more severe and the person is older. In all cases, the focus is on the feeling of speech. When we explore the person's fluent speech, we would tend to model and encourage them to use FSI behaviors. When we help the person explore their dysfluent speech, we might try to focus, after while, on their easier stuttering that resembles some of the MSI behaviors. Of course, we would not do this with younger children, who -- however -- often respond very positively and will start imitating MSI behaviors that have more in common with fluency shaping. And with some older and more severely stuttering clients, we might not work on FSI behaviors until later in therapy. With some adults, we might start with FSI and work up to MSI later. With others, initial pseudo or guided open stuttering might be more beneficial early on. One has to stay in touch with the person's needs, interests and concerns as well. This includes even 3-4 years olds, who are far more aware -- in their own way, of course -- than some people give them credit for. I can't emphasize too much the concept that these techniques are just tools to help the person begin to enjoy his speech more; develop confidence in her ability to manipulate speech; confront speech-related frustrations, fears, and anxieties; and communicate more freely. These concepts need to be emphasized to older children and adults, as well as parents, who will want to know where all of this is going and why we are encouraging these behaviors. They also guide the use of the various approaches. This is a bit hap-hazard, but I hope it's helpful. Thanks for your question and for your participation in the conference. - Darrell

Last changed: 02/21/07