|About the presenter: Crystal S. Cooper, M.S., CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow is an adjunct program instructor at Nova Southeastern University, Fischler School of Education, Programs in Speech, Language, and Communication Disorders. She is retired from her position as Lead Speech-Language Pathologist/Curriculum Associate for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. Mrs. Cooper is co-author, with her husband, Eugene B. Cooper of Cooper Personalized Fluency Control Therapy. The author of over 45 publications, she has presented workshops on collaborative models for fluency assessment and treatment in school settings throughout the United States and Europe. Her work with school age children who stutter was featured on the ABC-TV program "20/20."|
The purpose of this "Clinical Nugget" is to describe one of our most successful intervention activities: a Speech Newspaper written by students who stutter for their classmates. The activity was developed in response to recent reforms in education, such as No Child Left Behind. The education reforms have encouraged school-based speech-language pathologists to become active participants in the general school curriculum and partners in the teaching of written language.
Description of Clinical Activity:
During Better Hearing and Speech Month, therapy sessions focus on creating content for a speech newspaper to be distributed to all students at school. Students enrolled in the speech program submit articles, stories, conduct interviews, research facts about stuttering, and create artwork for the newspaper. Those students who cannot write, dictate their ideas to the clinician. During the process, students are taught organizational strategies needed to transfer ideas into written form. Skills in grammar, vocabulary, and spelling are expanded and reinforced.
The activity provides a forum for students who stutter to share feelings about stuttering with their classmates and opens the door for the clinician to assist the children in developing coping strategies to deal with negative peer experiences. For classmates who do not stutter, the newspaper educates and provides important lessons in sensitivity and tolerance.
One of the most popular sections of the newspaper is our Advice Column, modeled after "Dear Abby" and appropriately titled, "Dear Lippy." Students ask advice about how to handle situations related to stuttering and are answered by "Lippy." A small, select group of students enrolled in therapy are responsible for giving the advice. The clinician does not have direct input into the responses and serves only as a monitor for accuracy and appropriateness.
Summary: Some of the positive of outcomes of the speech newspaper are:
Cooper, E.B., & Cooper, C.S. (2003). Cooper Personalized Fluency Control Therapy for Children (3rd Edition). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed. www.proedinc.com
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