TREATMENT OF STUTTERING
SHS 574: Fall 1994 D. Mowrer E-mail (Distance Learning) Let's begin with some innovative ideas! I have arranged for each of you to get an E-MAIL address so you will have computer access to researchers all over the world who are involved in stuttering research. There are three listservs that present discussions about stuttering. One, run by Woody Starkweather called STUTT-X is composed of a group of professionals who hold similar views. Another one is headed by Bob Quesal in MacComb IL called STUT-HLP designed so people who stutter have a special net to discuss their problems. The third is STUTT-X that I started to give researchers the chance to discuss projects, controversies, and ideas. Each listserv is different yet similar in some ways. I monitor X and HLP regularly but I don't have time to read mail from STUTT-L. I would like you to join and participate in all three nets if you possibly can find the time. Controversial issues are frequently discussed and you can add your opinions if you like or just read comments of others. You will be reading on the "cutting edge" of the newest and keenest thoughts of important authorities in the field of stuttering. You are welcome to use the terminal in my office at any time. If the office is locked, ask Cissy for the key and help yourself! If you have a modem in your home computer, you can connect to E-mail through it. You can also write to me via E-Mail. I will distribute instructions and your individual addresses in about a week. Cooperative Learning The class is designed in a "cooperative learning" format. this structure allows students to take an active part in the learning process. We will form groups of 3-4 members. The purpose of the group is to work together as we gather information, solve problems, work on group projects, interview individuals who stutter, and prepare the notebook. The outcome is increased learning, more enjoyable learning, time saving for all students involved. Typically, I will present brief lectures (10 - 15 minutes) that will be followed by small group discussions, problem-solving assignments, or individual questioning. We will schedule at least four controversy discussions where pairs of students will argue points of view on a topic. Tests At least two tests will be administered, one near midterm and one near the end of the class. They will be of the open-book variety and students will have the opportunity to revise and resubmit answers to items that have been marked unsatisfactory. A student can submit 3 revisions in an attempt to obtain the highest score possible. Notebook I would like each of you to prepare a notebook following the Competency Check outline in your syllabus. This section could be entitled Part I. Your notebook will contain important clinical information that you can use when you are assigned a client who stutters. It also should contain copies or references to the tests you could give, therapy methods, and report forms. This second section could be labeled Part II. When you are assigned a client, you should be able to begin testing and start therapy using this notebook. Get tabs for specific areas like testing, motivation, parent counseling, etc. I will review your notebooks periodically throughout the semester. Your notebooks should be well organized and serviceable to you so each notebook may look quite different from your classmate's notebook. I encourage you to share information with others and use information your peers have found for the Part II section. The Competency Level section, Part I, will be personalized to you only. Attendance Attend class regularly! Much of our learning will occur in class. You can't depend upon copying another student's notes because much of what occurs in class results in changes in one's thinking, obtaining different perspectives, reorganizing your thoughts, and contributing by helping other class members. Class absences can affect your grade and your performance. I feel that missing more than two classes can significantly affect your competency level. This doesn't mean you get "2 free cuts." If there is a very serious reason why you should not be in class, please discuss it with me so I can understand your personal situation. There are times when you should not be in class. Be attentive in class. Follow through with the activities, be independent in your research efforts, be cooperative with others, and budget the necessary time it takes you to master the material. Keep an open mind and question the findings of all the material you read. Be critical of the ideas of others and be tolerant of others who are critical of your ideas! Bibliographic Instruction A portion of the class will be devoted to library assignments designed to assist you in finding information about stuttering. This involves using our computerized catalogue system, MARS, Medlin, Psych. Abstracts, etc. A team-teacher from the library instructional staff will present a few lectures and assignments to help you with this phase of our study. I will put together some survey material to test your understanding of the library facilities. Those of you who need this training will receive it. If you are already an expert in this area, you will be engaged in other activities. You will find this instruction will be of great value to you in all of your classes. I would like each of you to focus on one area of interest as part of your Bibliographic Instruction and write a 5-8 double spaced research review paper on the subject following APA style. Write this paper to help you clarify your thinking. Do not write it FOR me! Write it because you are enthusiastic about the subject and want to communicate to a colleague about it. Discuss it on E-mail as well. Talk about it with qualified individuals or even people who stutter. Gather your information from any source. This paper is not the "traditional" research paper you are used to writing. It should be a piece of written communication. It should be an enjoyable activity that you can begin at any time. I will furnish some thoughts I have about writing that should be helpful to you in completing this project as well as with other writing assignments you will have in graduate school. Self-evaluation I ask students near the end of the semester to provide me with an introspective analysis of their perception of what they learned during the class. This includes a description of the work they did, special areas they investigated, and an evaluation of their attitude toward learning. This self-evaluation turns out to be a very informative document for me because students have the opportunity to "tell their side of the story" that I never get to hear. I find it to be a valuable retrospective look at one's work during the semester as well. Grading System I used to grade solely on the basis of points earned on tests. I no longer do this since tests are only one small measure of what a student learns in class. I attempt to make an evaluation of a student's efforts and learning by considering several areas. I have assigned percentages to various areas to provide students with some idea of what I consider most and least important but I don't "add up points." I try to keep students informed as the semester progresses regarding their standing in each area. I use the following as a general guide: E-mail (Distance Learning) 15% You will have a log sheet on which you keep track of your time spent reading and writing Email plus your active involvement with and your evaluation of the traffic of the various listservs. Read your E-mail at least once a week, preferably twice or three times weekly. If you let too many messages build up, your system may lock up so you can't access it I will check your log sheets periodically to make sure you are current. You will receive special recognition for participating in the discussions. Cooperative Learning 10% I have also prepared a couple of evaluation sheets your peers will fill out regarding your participation in group activities. I also will be monitoring your contributions during group discussions, controversy presentation and problem solving activities. I'll provide feedback to you periodically. Tests 10% As I have mentioned, at least two tests will be given. They will be scored and returned. You have three opportunities to reanswer questions that you may have missed. Thus, you have every opportunity to perform well on these tests. The important thing is that you know the material! It seems unfair to me when a student receives a C on a test, then learns the material but the C is not erased. Notebook (Competency Check incl) 30% I feel this is one of the most important activities in the class for it verifies that you have obtained competency in the area of stuttering. The notebook also will be a valuable source of information when you begin seeing clients. When you have finished a section, be sure to verify your competency levels with adequate documentation. Briefly describe what you did to reach competency. I will review your notebook with you periodically. Bibliographic Instruction (Paper incl) 20% This area is also important because it will reveal the outside reading you have done for the class. As you note, there is no single textbook for this class. Each author has his/her own views that are often biased. I want to expose you a wide variety of authors so you understand many viewpoints, not just mine or those of a single author. I hope you will take the opportunity to skim materials and read widely. You will have a log sheet to keep track of the hours you put in as you read and look up information about stuttering. Attendance 10% I have already discussed my feeling about the importance of regular attendance. Much of the class activities depend upon your participation with your group. I recall one student who received a B in class because he missed 5 classes. Some of his other areas were weak as well but he could have received an A had he put forth more effort. The student complained that I was punishing him for being sick by giving him a grade of B. I was sorry that he had the feeling that he was being punished but this student missed too much by not being in class. Self-evaluation 5% This evaluation is extremely revealing and perhaps it should count more. Often, when a student is on the "borderline" between an A and a B, the self evaluation helps me to decide which of the two grades should be awarded. More frequently, it was the higher grade. I try to evaluate each student on their own merits. Often students are compared one with another in a competitive system (winners and losers). This system fosters uncooperative attitudes among students. In a competitive classroom, sharing of information is stifled and restricted. In a system that evaluates a student by how much learning has taken place, it is possible for everyone in class to get a grade of A. "Grading by the curve" prevents this from occurring. First, I have to get to know each student, discover their needs, and coach them about directions they can take to help them improve their competencies. The needs of each student are different and their interests are different. I don't feel every student needs to know the same things after taking a class. I view a class as a "launching pad" that shoots a student toward a path of a lifetime of learning. About getting started Lastly, let's consider the units of study I have organized for you in the Competency Check document. I would like to present some basic "down to earth" areas of study that will be important to you and at the same time, maintain your interest. Think about the following questions: UNIT 1 1. What do individuals DO that makes us classify them as stutterers? 2. What is the HISTORY of stuttering? 3. What are the chances of RECOVERY from stuttering? Our first unit will concentrate upon diagnosis, case history, and prognosis of stuttering. You should consult texts that deal with diagnosis such as Meitus & Weinberg's Diagnosis in Speech-Language Pathology. Also, take a look at Johnson's classic categories and Wingate's definition of stuttering. But don't get caught up in WHY the person stutters. That's a different issue. It seems authors can't let the "casual factor" alone. Many authors mix their opinions about the cause of stuttering with their description of stuttering. We will practice describing stuttering in class by watching video tapes of clients who stutter. You will be counting, timing and scoring these individuals. If we are lucky, we may even be able to attract some "live" subjects for you to practice with. But by the end of this unit, you will be able to diagnose the client's problem objectively. We will spend as long as needed until you feel comfortable with this diagnostic process. When we finish the unit, you should have many materials in your notebook. I will provide you with an opportunity to test your skills as we make and write a diagnosis of stuttering. UNIT 2 will address the following question: 1. What can I do to assist the client in REDUCING or ELIMINATING the speech problem? I guess you could say that answering this question involves almost the entire course! There are many ways to treat stuttering. Van Riper referred to these many ways as "arrows in the clinical quiver". You will read about many different treatment approaches. There are many issues we must take into consideration when we select a treatment for a client. Some important issues are age of the client, history of the problem and its treatment, the client's attitudes, supportive environment, etiology of the problem, client motivation, etc. It becomes complicated when you attempt to choose a treatment procedure. Sometimes it is necessary to switch to an entirely different treatment plan in order to meet the needs of your client. This class is designed to meet YOUR needs, not mine. I'll give you an idea of when we will administer tests and what they will include as we move along . I am reluctant to establish definite test dates until I have a better understanding of your progress with the class activities. Remember, the most important part of this class is YOU. You'll get out of class what you put in to it. Don't work for a grade, work toward understanding the material. The grade will take care of itself. I feel the most important goal of the instructor is to structure the environment that LEARNING HOW TO LEARN. If a student concentrates simply upon learning factual data, we can expect that more than 80% of what the professor said in class will be forgotten before the year is out! But if a students gets "turned on" to learning, then learning continues for a lifetime!