This is a threaded discussion page for the International Stuttering Awareness Day Online Conference paper, A Perspective on Summer Camps for Children Who Stutter: 1991-1998 by Ellen Bennet and Jenna Batik. Welcome From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/1/98 Time: 1:54:20 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Just a note to welcome everyone to the conference. I look forward to the exchange which will take place over the next few weeks. A special thank you goes to Michael and Judy for all their hard work putting this conference together. Children who stutter From: Kathleen Roetzel Date: 10/2/98 Time: 12:07:04 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments In your article you mentioned giving interns a specific curriculum to use when working with the campers. What was the curriculum that your used? Re: Children who stutter From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/2/98 Time: 12:20:45 PM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments I designed a curriculum whnich follows an integrated approach to the treatment of stuttering. Incorporating both small group and large group activities, the campers discuss the normal speaking process, how we interfer with this process, ways in which we may stutter (providing specific terms the child can use to describe their stuttering is very important). We address what Gene Cooper describes as the ABC's of stuttering treatment: affective, behavioral, and cognitive components. I have outline various activities in the form of daily agendas so that everyone is doing the same type of task, albet implementing the activities in their own creative ways. We wanted the university interns to concentrate on their interactions with the children and not on what they were going to be doing. We inserviced all interns on the curriculum before the camp started so they had plenty of time to prepare materials, etc. Our feedback from the university interns has been very positive. stuttering:╩ Camp environment From: Slp in CT Date: 10/3/98 Time: 5:56:44 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments How was your camp funded? What were specific payments made by campers? What were SLPs paid? How did you decide who were eligible campers? Re: stuttering:╩ Camp environment From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/5/98 Time: 11:41:56 AM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Our camp is funded through EYS (Extended Year Service) mandates by the state. To be considered for EYS, you must be able to document regression over the summer if therapy is not provided, and must have significant impact on the student's ability to function. All campers must have an active IEP to attend camp. Through our work on advocating for children who stutter, educating (especially in the area of relapse and support)those in a position to make decisions about this program. I have the exact figures from the 98 camp but they are at home. I will send them later. But the SLPs received their regular salary and the overall budget was around $12,000. We received close to $12,000 in medicaid moneys (SHARS reimbursement) due to the population we serve. So, in reality, the district didn't have to foot any of the bill. Summer camp for people who stutter From: Bernie Weiner Date: 10/4/98 Time: 4:14:09 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments Are you at all familiar with the Shady Trails camp which was sponsored by the University of Michigan ? Back in the 60's, I spent two complete summers there. This was an eight week camp, mainly for people who stuttered. I found that I would return home almost completely fluent, only to regress due to the lack of follow-up work. What type of continuity is offered to the campers in your program? I feel that it is extreamly important to have some type of follow-up work, whether in a support group setting or individual therapy. Re: Summer camp for people who stutter From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/5/98 Time: 11:52:39 AM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Bernie, The camp that we run does not emphasize the development of fluency for just the reasons you note. It is extrememly difficult to expect children in 5 or 8 days to gain control over their speech and then maintain it when they return home. This is an unrealistic expectation and just sets them up for possible failure (most likely failure) in the long run. The purpose of the camps is to provide an unconditional, accepting environment in which children can be themselves regardless of how they talk. There is no teasing, no corrections, no demeaning suggestions like "just try to use your easy speech". And yet, in this environment, the children learn about stuttering, begin to see the many faces of the stuttering monster, begin to confront it is socially accepting ways, and hopefully, become desensitized to stuttering. We follow Dean Williams ideas around the "discovery" process, assisting the children through fun activities to challenge themselves. It is our belief that children, in order to make the necessary changes in their speech, must first know about the normal speaking process, know about stuttering in general, know about their type of stuttering, and be able to insert easy stutters into their speech so they can "feel" the difference between hard and easy speech. In the camp setting, the SLPs are guided in how to proivde this type of suppoprt and they become more comfortable with working with this population. Re: Summer camp for people who stutter From: Joe Date: 4/9/99 Time: 1:08:32 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments I worked at Shady Trails for two summers, the camp closed in 1995 and no longer is run by U of M, it was a day camp last summer and is owned by Tim Allen........ summer camp From: Katie Passmore Date: 10/5/98 Time: 10:21:02 AM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Good paper! Anyway, I'm glad I got the chance to experience what you wrote about. Camp was the thing that kept me going. School is really hard for me, so having interactions with the kids helped me to buckle down so I can graduate and do what I love to do. Well I'm off to check out what Yaruss has to say. Katie stuttering camp From: jeff in Iowa Date: 10/5/98 Time: 1:25:38 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments I enjoyed this article, having just spent part of my last summer working at a similiar camp. What do you do to involve school SLPs at the child's school in the process? What kind of follow-up do you have with the children during the school year? How does the summer camp impact the child's IEP? Re: stuttering camp From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/6/98 Time: 11:20:52 AM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Jeff, Thanks for the comments. Originally, each camper took a notebook of the camps activities back to his/her school SLP and showed them what they had learned over the summer. The fluency support in this district has always been very good. At each 6 weeks meeting, there was an opportunity to discuss the students with each other. More importantly, as the Fluency Specialist for the District, I was available to go to the student's home campus and demonstrate or assist the campus therapist in any way needed. At first, I was called out alot and then this subsided as the clinicians gained confidence in this area. Frequent inservice and sharing of ideas at the meetings also helped to promote this confidence. As far as systematic follow-up, we did not have any (as of yet). Right now, the district does not have a fluency specialist on board and therefore, it is particularly hard for me to follow-up on some of the clients we worked with. I no longer am employeed with the district, just at the university. With regards to the IEPs, at the end of the camp, each therapist completes a checklist of how the child performed on the tasks outlined in the curriculum. This then goes to the home therapist to be inserted into their speech records. This also provides feedback to the home therapist. Ideally, we would like to have more systematic follow-up. However, we have not been able to manage it within the system constraints. Ellen Summer camp From: Dani Schwartz Date: 10/6/98 Time: 12:40:39 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments I enjoyed reading this article. It is interesting to hear what other people have to say about the summer camp. Stuttering Summer Program From: Molly Tami Date: 10/8/98 Time: 1:15:58 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments I was very encouraged to read your article and hear about your camp! It sounds wonderful and serves a very important need. This past August, I spend the month with my 8 years old at the Institute for Stuttering Treatment and Research in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where he participated in an intensive clinic that was geared towards achieving and maintained fluency skills (which I realize your camp is not). It was a fabulous program and has produced great results. I was unable to find a comparable program in the U.S., which is disappointing. We need more camps and summer programs of this type and of your type, to help our children that stutter and to train SLP to work in this area. Are you optimistic that more summer programs/camps will be developed in the future? Thanks for your article and keep up your important work. Re: Stuttering Summer Program From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/9/98 Time: 3:21:37 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Molly, Thanks for the words of encouragement. I have been trying to promote these summer camps for the past six to seven years because I see a great need, also. I am not sure of the outcome of these efforts though. It would be wonderful to see an increased interest in projects such as this. Super for SLPs and super for kids. selection of campers From: Joann Bergemann Date: 10/8/98 Time: 3:06:30 PM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Can the same kids come to the camp each year? If so, it would be interesting to follow them in a research study. Re: selection of campers From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/9/98 Time: 3:18:09 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Yes. Campers can repeat camp as often as they like. we started tracking the "repeaters" (just a pun) but there are too many other factors in their lives which would influence their performance. But just the fact that they want to come to camp next year says something positive aobut the experience. Observations from a 98 Camp Intern From: Laura Straub Date: 10/8/98 Time: 10:48:06 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Some observations from a 98 Summer Camp SLP student intern: 1. Camp provided interns extensive exposure to different types/level of severity of stuttering within one's group (campers are grouped by age). e.g. My group had a severe CWS, and I was not prepared for my (emotional) reaction to hearing her initially. It was almost painful. 2. Group "Show & Tell" exercises (in front of entire camp) were moving experiences. Some campers who on Day 1 would barely say their name, volunteered for Show & Tell and upon completion were greeted with thunderous applause. 3. Opportunities for interaction between SLPs and interns as well as between interns was invaluable (dare I say the "networking" word here?). I ended up becoming friends with "our SLP," and we often discuss SLP issues, community and school trends as well as share grad. school experiences -- she is somewhat of a mentor. In addition, I got to know a fellow classmate much better because of our planning sessions outside the camp and of course our need for teamwork all week long as we co-created and presented lessons and activities. 4. On Parent's Day (the last day of camp) I was provided a glimpse at the relationship between the parent's reaction to their child's stuttering and the child's own reaction to it. Of course, this was an extremely limited observation, but there was a set of parents who did not appear nearly as accepting of their child as a CWS as other camper's parents. Their child seemed to have a great deal of difficulty getting up the courage to speak and the child's stuttering was one of the most severe of the campers. It drove home to me the point of the camp -- acceptance of stuttering as "OK" is crucial to its treatment. "Stuttering Camps" From: Chuck Goldman Date: 10/9/98 Time: 4:48:30 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments It's good to know that your program has increased so dramatically in numbers. I'm somewhat surprised that many parents feel "comfortable" sending their children to a "stuttering" camp. How were these families recruitred and what kind of preliminary work needed to be done? There is certainly no doubt beginning SLP's and student SLP's would be eager for the opportunities. Re: "Stuttering Camps" From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/12/98 Time: 11:39:53 AM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Chuck, Good point. Each child is selected to attend by their home therapist who does the initial contact with the parents to gain their support. In our district, we have worked very hard to "get stuttering out in the open" through inservice opportunities, parent support groups, and the work of the fluency specialist. When SLPs and CWS feel supported and have a resource to go to when helped in needed, all benefit. During some of the years, we had a parent meeting in the evening where we discussed stuttering and provided an outlet for parents to expresses their concerns and ideas. These meetings were attended by some parents and the representativeness in attendance varied year from year. This last year, the coordinators did not have a evening parent meeting. But in the previous year, I did and we had about 20 people in attendance (including siblings). I believe that, even if only one parent attends, the meeting is a success. I don't really like to look at the number end of it. Age for participation in summer camp program From: Michael Sugarman Date: 10/10/98 Time: 10:32:27 AM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments I wish I had the opportunity to go to camp. What age do you feel the child is appropriate to go to camp? This spring we considered sending rebekah to overnight camp. Rebekah is 7 years old. A developmental psychologist suggested to wait til she was 11 years old. Re: Age for participation in summer camp program From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/12/98 Time: 11:43:59 AM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Michael, Please keep in mind that this camp is not sleep over camp. The child come in the morning (8:15+-) and then leave at 2:30-3:00. We have included children as young as 5 in the camp and have found that they learn through their experience just as much as the older campers. (Theraspy activities are modified for this younger group). I am really not to sure about an appropriate age for overnight, week-long camps! stuttering camp From: Emma Millis Date: 10/11/98 Time: 12:03:59 AM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Your article on the stuttering camp gave a great insight to a wonderful program supported by devoted individuals in the community. I am looking forward to being a part of the program and a part of a new life experience. Summer Camp Experience From: Dianna Andrew Date: 10/11/98 Time: 4:36:30 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments I found camp to be a fantastic experience. It was a great addition to my graduate school training. I do have 1 suggestion; limit the sugar snacks. I found it very challenging to handle 6 boys ages 4 to 7. Re: Summer Camp Experience From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/12/98 Time: 11:45:46 AM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments Dianna, I totally agree with you. Working with young 6-7 year old boys is challenging enough without adding the influence of "sugar" on their activity level. I will pass your thoughts onto to the next year coordinator. Summer Camp From: Veronica Rallis Date: 10/11/98 Time: 5:19:11 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments This past summer, I participated in a week long, stuttering camp. As a graduate student, I felt it provided a great learning experience. I was able to interact with children who stuttered and learn first hand about therapy strategies, stuttering behaviors and severities of stuttering. It was great to apply the theory that is presented in the classroom to actual situations in camp. The camp provides children who stutter a relaxed atmoshere where they can interact with other children who stutter and become more accepting of their stuttering. It was a truly enjoyable experience where I learned so much about how stuttering affects children first hand. Re: Summer Camp From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/12/98 Time: 11:47:47 AM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Veronica, We strongly believe that the camp provides an opportunity for university students to learn, in a hands-on manner, how to work with children who stutter. Your comments further confirm our beliefs and encourage us to continue. Thanks. Getting Involved From: Andy Floyd╩╩╩ email@example.com Date: 10/12/98 Time: 11:15:57 PM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Ellen (Dr. Bennet :) Hi! Your article was great! As a second year SLP grad, I would love to have this kind of opportunity. I was wondering what the chances would be for the camp to have students from out-of state, like me? Depending on the timing of the camp, I'd no longer be a student, but I'd love to help out in some way. Do you miss Colorado at all? I do. Re: Getting Involved From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/13/98 Time: 12:32:46 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Andy, Nice to hear from you. Having others help out in the camp is not problematic for me at all. One year, we had Mary Johns from San Antonio, come for a couple of days. Towards the end of April, I should have the dates of the camp from the school district. So keep in touch. Ellen Fluency Camp From: Rachel Landeros Date: 10/13/98 Time: 1:04:49 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments I greatly enjoyed your article and look forward to some day being a participate in the fluency camp. Summer Camp From: Brenda Ortiz Date: 10/14/98 Time: 12:57:05 AM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments I enjoyed reading this article. "Summer Camp" sounds like a great experience for everyone involved. I regret not being able to participate in this year's camp but hope I will have the opportunity to participate in the future. I also wondered if campers have a way to keep in touch during the school year or have some type of newsletter in order to help the campers stay in touch as a whole group. Re: Summer Camp From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/14/98 Time: 1:06:26 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Brenda, That is a very good suggestion. I know that Charlie Healey at Nebraska has a summer camp that produces a newsletter and I think they have set up a way for the campers to keep in touch with one another. Maybe if Charlie, Gayle, or Lisa read this, they can respond with their ideas. Ellen Bennett Summer Camps for Children Who Stutter From: J. O'Reilly Date: 10/14/98 Time: 12:09:35 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Have you done any research as to whether these positive experiences and feelings of self-acceptance at camp carried over into the less sheltered environment of their world outside of camp? I enjoyed your article. Thanks. article. Re: Summer Camps for Children Who Stutter From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/14/98 Time: 1:10:58 PM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments J., No we haven't done systematic research on the long-term carryover of attitudes established during camp. Since the child come from such a varied background with so many different confounding variables, research findings would be highly suspect and open to much criticism. If someone has any suggestions on how to design such a study, I would be very grateful. My research background is very limited and I have not pursued this type of research recently. Ellen Re: Summer Camps for Children Who Stutter From: Les Anderson Date: 10/16/98 Time: 12:25:34 AM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Ellen, I would suggest that for any information or questions about research you may want to contact the Institute For Stuttering Treatment and Research in Edmonton, Alberta. This clinic is known throughout the world for is status in research in regards to stuttering and children who stutter. The clinic's Executive Director is Deborah Kully and she would be more than willing to share with you her knowledge of researching such a project as outlined above.
Additional ideas for BCA summer camp From: Les Anderson Date: 10/14/98 Time: 2:04:43 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Ellen I have been following with great interest your paper on a summer camp for children. We at the British Columbia Assoc. of People Who Stutter are in the planning stages of a summer camp for children who stutter. What we plan to integrate into the camp criteria are seminars for the parents and brothers and sisters of those who stutter. For some yet to be explained reason, discussion about a child's stutter, in a family setting, is still a taboo topic. We feel that this leads to much misunderstanding between the parents and brothers and sisters about their sibling's affliction. We also hope to include a hands off observation study for student or registered SLPs who wish to take part. Many of the ideas that are being discussed and passed around in this discussion group have been a real boost for us. If anyone has any other ideas on what may be beneficial for a camp for those who stutter, please feel free to e-mail your suggestions to me. Les Anderson E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org President British Columbia Assoc. of People Who Stutter Re: Additional ideas for BCA summer camp From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/14/98 Time: 2:30:28 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments Les, Its great to hear what you are planning up north. I would be more than happy to send you a copy of our camp curriculum (though it changes each year). Perhaps some of the ideas you will find interesting. Also, I would be very happy to discuss your camp with you and be there to problem solve the "how to's". We have tried various types of activities, individual, group and family based with varying degrees of success. Let me know how I can contribute to your camp. Thanks-- Ellen Re: Additional ideas for BCA summer camp From: Les Anderson Date: 10/16/98 Time: 12:16:52 AM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Ellen, Thank you so very much for your generous offer of help. With out a doubt, we will be in contact with you in the near future. We will need your E-mail or snail mail address to contact you. I have forwarded your paper to our camp committee members and they were very impressed and interested in its contents. Your paper has already given us many insights into what to do and not to do but we know we are a long ways from being experts in the field of camp organizing. Les Anderson Re: Additional ideas for BCA summer camp From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/16/98 Time: 11:41:34 AM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments Les, Indeed, keep in touch. My e-mail is email@example.com and my address is the following: Ellen Bennett, Ph.D. University of Texas 1101 North Campbell El Paso, Texas 79902 I look forward to discussing camp ideas with you and your group. It is GREAT to hear about other opportunities, like camps, for children who stutter. This is what we are all about. Ellen Re: Additional ideas for╩ summer camp From: Lee Caggiano Date: 10/20/98 Time: 7:12:33 AM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Ellen The ideas that are being shared in this discussion have such possibilities. Could I also get a copy of your camp's curriculum? I am sure many of the ideas can be applied to support groups for children/teens. Thanks for this opportunity. Lee Caggiano Summer camp From: Erin Pickering Date: 10/18/98 Time: 11:37:10 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments I was wondering how much, if any, time was able to be spent on helping the children in finding ways in which to extend the sense of empowerment they gained through the camp experience into the "real world"(such as the classroom or the playground)? How were the children encouraged to facilitate this? Re: Summer camp From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/23/98 Time: 1:11:26 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments Erin, We are looking into this aspect. At UTEP, we are thinking of establishing a post-camp speciality clinic that would continue where the camp left off. In this regard, we would be able to incorporate more "real-life" experiences and speech modification into the activities for those who attended the clinic. Just in the planning stage-- hopefully, the university will support such ideas and make the benefit of camp extend past the first few days. Ellen Stuttering Camp From: Alyssa Cozzens Date: 10/19/98 Time: 2:08:45 AM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments After reading this article, it made me really sad that I couldn't be part of it this summer. I heard my classmates talk about their experience, but seeing tangible evidence made it sound even more appealing. I hope I get other opportunities to participate in such wonderful events. Fluency Camp Curriculum From: Bette gray Date: 10/19/98 Time: 8:38:13 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments Have you entertained the thought of compiling the various curriculums into a resource book for publication? Hours went into the preparation and it would be well received. Many would like to mimic the camp but may feel intimidated due to challenge of a curriculum. Summer Camp From: Veronica Chavarria Date: 10/20/98 Time: 2:14:50 PM Remote Name: 22.214.171.124 Comments I think that this fluency camp is an excellent idea and I can't wait until I can participate in it! So many of my fellow students have found such enthusiasm for fluency as well as their other studies. It is great for students who have had their clinical practicums to be involved with these campers. Great work! Camp for teenagers From: Les Anderson Date: 10/21/98 Time: 11:43:17 AM Remote Name: 126.96.36.199 Comments Ellen, There has been much talk and arguementive discussion about teenagers, in general, not being ready for clinical therapy. In your experience with summer camps for stutterers, do you deal with teenagers at your camps? If so, do they pose different problems than do preteenagers? Re: Camp for teenagers From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/23/98 Time: 1:08:00 PM Remote Name: 188.8.131.52 Comments Les, I do think that teenagers are a very different breed of people and their clinical experience should reflect this difference. If a teen shows interest in attending camp, this tells me that they feel a need to be there and we should not eliminate them from this opportunity. Now, if they are being coerced to attend by their parents or therapist, this is a different matter. One year, we used the teens as camp facilitators, helping with the younger children, Thend another year, they had their own group with their own curriculum. In any event, the teen needs to be an active participant in whatever activities their are involved in-- a pre-decribed program may not meet their individual needs (or their need to be considered as independent young adults). Certainly, an area that needs more forethought and planning that one would expect. Ellen Number of stuttering camps From: Alan Date: 10/22/98 Time: 1:17:36 PM Remote Name: 184.108.40.206 Comments I enjoyed reading your article about summer camps very much. Do you know how many camps of this kind are in operation? Are there any lists of where and when these camps operate? I was also glad to see that you were a fluency specialist for a school district. I am a graduate student interested in fluency disorders and I also would like to know if students who are interested in this disorder are able to find work specific to fluency disorders and where they may be employed. Are there many CF opportunities for students interested in fluency? Thanks for any information that you can provide. Re: Number of stuttering camps From: Ellen Bennett Date: 10/23/98 Time: 1:18:06 PM Remote Name: 220.127.116.11 Comments Alan, There are several camps around the country but I don't know of any list that is available. Contact me directly and I will pass on the names of those camps I am familiar with. As far as jobs specifically emphasizing fluency-- they are far and few between. In fact, some school districts have eliminated their speciality position (Rochester Public Schools). It is a real disfortune to see this happen. In YISD, we have had speciality positions for the past 15 +- years. The district is very progressive in this regard because it provides support in many different areas (auditory processing, autism, early childhoon intervention, fluency, voice and articulation, augmentative, etc.) By having someone on staff to help problem solve difficult cases, the SLPs do not feel alone in handling their caseloads. There are frequent inservice activities by these specialists and they have time allocated to come to your campus and assist you in testing and treatment. Its a great concept which I fully support and wish was more prevasive in other school districts across the country. Good luck in finding such a job. Ellen stuttering camps From: Elizabeth Owens, East Carolina University Date: 10/5/99 Time: 9:29:47 PM Remote Name: 18.104.22.168 Comments I have always wondered whether there were camps for children who stutter. I know that this type of environment is so beneficial in helping a child feel a connection with other children who stutter and also to help build self-confidence and a feeling of self-worth. I have a couple of questions about your camp. Have you followed any of these children once they left the camp? You said that these children "were in a safe, positive enfironment in which there were no expectations of fluency." Does the feelings they get from this camp carry over int a not so safe and positive an environment? Also, what is "easy stuttering", and are different types of methods used at this camp?