COMPONENT 10. FACILITATION OF A POSITIVE ATTITUDE TOWARD COMMUNICATION AND TOWARD HIMSELF AS A COMMUNICATOR Rationale: The child must develop a positive attitude toward himself/herself as a communicator. To approach communicating without fear and apprehension, and to experience successful speaking situations. Research: Andrews and Culter (1974) - noted that change in the person's self- concept as a speaker is imperative to therapeutic success. Bennett, Ramig, and Reveles (1993) - found that children attending a summer fluency camp exhibited negative communication attitudes which consisted of both interpersonal and intrapersonal components. Bloodstein (1987) - encourages the parent to provide successful speaking situations for the child--nursery rhymes, choral speaking, etc. Daly (1988) - incorporates both mental imagery and positive self-talk strategies into the treatment paradigm for adolescents and adults who stutter. DeNil and Brutten (1991) - investigated the communication attitudes of children and found that children who stuttered exhibited greater negative communication attitudes when compared with their fluent peers. Starkweather, et. al. (1990) - states the child's concern about his/her speech may result from parental reactions toward his/her stuttering. Guitar (1976) - found that pre-therapy attitudes may predict therapy outcomes. Subjects who exhibited high pre-treatment speech avoidances exhibited significantly higher post-treatment stuttered speech. Guitar and Bass (1978) - found that changes in clients' communicative attitudes seemed to be related to long-term improvements in fluency. Ramig and Bennett (in press) - discuss the importance of addressing attitudes and feelings of the school-age child who stutters. Van Riper (1973) - stresses the importance of making speech a pleasant experience. Activities/Techniques: 1. "All About Me Book" Encourage and reinforce the child's strong areas, i.e., singing, coloring, artwork. Make the child feel good about the things he/she does well. 2. Employ hierarchically based therapy activities that provide maximum success with fluency. Make therapy fun and enjoyable for the child as well as successful. 3. Always encourage an open line of communication. The child must feel trust and confidence in the clinician's ability to help him/her, and the clinician should be supportive throughout the therapy. 4. The clinician is encouraged to talk openly about stuttering and reduce the "conspiracy of silence" which often surrounds the disorder. Talking about talking and talking about stuttering will convey an atmosphere of total acceptance and will enhance the client's self esteem. 5. Activities about "Ways of Becomming a Good Communicator" will help the client see that communication is more than just "how" one speaks but also includes "what" one has to say. Talking about turn taking, interruptions, and teaching the client various coping mechanisms will enhance the development of "speech assertiveness." 6. Discussing the "global attributions" of the clients is very important to the process of attitudinal change. Catch the client when he/she says a "can't" or "never" comment and spend a few moments talking about how one talks to oneself does affect one's behavior. Changing "negative self-talk" into "positive self-talk" are viable tasks for the clinician and client to undertake.