About the presenter: Gary Rentschler is the Director of the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he directs the Adult and Adolescent Stuttering Program and teaches clinical methods and graduate courses in professional ethics for speech pathologists and legal issues in speech pathology. His clinical and research interests focus on the role of emotional and psycho-social factors in perpetuating stuttering. He is a Board-Recognized Specialist in Fluency Disorders and was distinguished as Speech Pathologist of the Year by the National Stuttering Association. Rentschler completed his Ph.D. and M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to the author before October 22, 2006.

My Favorite Activity for Stuttering Therapy: Lost at Sea

by Gary J. Rentschler
from Pennsylvania, USA

In my mind, a good therapy activity generates a lot of talking (opportunities to use targets), gets people engaged, and is plenty of fun...that's why I like "Lost at Sea". This activity lends itself to group therapy, but can also be used in individual sessions. Basically, you are given a survival scenario and need to choose things you'd like to take with you from a list of available items. The discussion (and fun) comes in justifying your choices. Adding to the realism, the US Coast Guard offers their explanation of the best items to choose to compare against!


Creating Speaking Opportunities. Have one person read the scenario (using his or her speech targets). Break up into 2-3 small groups and have each group decide on their answer to the problem. Reassemble as a large group and have each group explain their choices. Finally, provide the Coast Guard's answer by having another person read it to the group.

The Scenario: You are adrift on a private yacht in the south pacific. As a consequence of a fire of unknown origin, much of the yacht and its contents have been destroyed. The yacht is now slowly sinking. Your location is unclear due to the destruction of critical navigational equipment and because you and the crew were distracted trying to bring the fire under control. Your best estimate is that you are approximately one thousand miles south-southwest of the nearest land.

Below is a list of fifteen items that are intact and undamaged after the fire. In addition to these articles, you have a serviceable rubber raft with oars large enough to carry yourself, the crew, and all the items listed below. The total contents of all survivors' pockets are a package of cigarettes, several books of matches, and five one dollar bills.

Your task is to select six items from the fifteen to take with you on the raft. The six items you select will determine your survival instincts and aptitude.

Will You Survive?: The answer, explanation, and your score can be found at the following web site:


Thanks to a former student, Amy Bergen (SUNY Buffalo), who bought this activity to a group session!

You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to the author before October 22, 2006.

August 26, 2006
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