Graduate Student Clinician Competencies Checklist

Assessment and Treatment of Stuttering

This competencies checklist is suggested as a resource for instructing and evaluating graduate student clinicians in the assessment and treatment of stuttering.

This competencies checklist was adapted for use with graduate student clinicians from the existing Guidelines for Practice in Stuttering Treatment. Please consult for the extended list of competencies contained in the Guidelines. This competencies checklist was completed by Barbara Amster, Sheryl Gottwald, and Lisa LaSalle, affiliates of Division 4, Fluency and Fluency Disorders, and was based on work previously conducted by Ken St. Louis, Lisa Scott, Jennifer Watson, and Patricia Zebrowski.

The authors of this checklist recommend that students completing a graduate program in speech-language pathology and entering the Clinical Fellowship Year should have the following knowledge and skills. Instructors and/or graduate clinicians are encouraged to use the following 5-point rating scale to measure the development of these competencies at the beginning and ending of a class and/or practicum experience.






NAME_____________________________________________ DATE___________________


1 2 3 4 5

1=Very Competent 2=Somewhat Competent 3=neutral 4=Somewhat Incompetent 5=Very Incompetent

_____1. Can identify normally fluent speech by describing continuity, rate and effort.

_____2. Can identify disfluencies by type (blocks, prolongations, repetitions, etc.).

_____3. Can describe effortful behavior and its anatomic/physiological source (e.g vocal straining) as it relates to stuttering.

_____4. Can relate other communication disorders to the development and/or maintenance of stuttering.

_____5. Can address the needs, values, and cultural/linguistic background of the client and family when conducting assessment and/or treatment for stuttering.

_____6. Can identify the need for referrals to other professionals when appropriate.

_____7. Can differentially diagnose developmental stuttering from other fluency disorders such as cluttering, neurogenic, and psychogenic stuttering, as well as malingering.

_____8. Can differentiate between a child's normally disfluent speech, the speech of a child at risk for stuttering, and the speech of a child who has already begun to stutter.

_____9. Can obtain a thorough case history by acquiring information about psychological, developmental, linguistic and cultural variables that may impact fluency.

_____10. Can obtain representative speech samples to evaluate for stuttering frequency, duration of stuttering, and speech rate.

_____11. Can assess clients' use of sound, word and situational avoidance as well as secondary features.

_____12. Can utilize available and appropriate diagnostic tests to assess stuttering and associated behaviors.

_____13. Can identify and measure environmental variables (e.g. time pressure, emotional reactions, interruptions, nonverbal behavior, demand speech, or the speech of significant others) that may be related to stuttering.

_____14. Can explain clearly to clients and/or their family members various treatment options and their evidence base.

_____15. Can, in appropriate consultation with the client or parents, construct a treatment program, based on the results of comprehensive testing that fits the unique needs of each client's problem(s).

_____16. Can flexibly adapt the treatment program to meet the specific needs of the client and family.

_____17. Can utilize counseling skills to address feelings, attitudes, and coping strategies of clients and their families.

_____18. Can identify when the experience of stuttering leads to avoidance, postponement, struggle, and secondary behavior.

_____19. Can help clients work towards normal fluency and natural sounding speech.

_____20. Can help clients and families make treatment decisions in accordance with the ASHA Code of Ethics.

_____21.' Can implement a variety of procedures to achieve transfer and maintenance of changes achieved in the clinical setting.

_____22. Can help clients develop a plan for managing the variability of stuttering over time.

_____23. Can write evaluation and therapy reports that explain the nature of the client's stuttering and its treatment for the client and family.

This document does not represent official policy of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). For official ASHA Practice Policy pertaining to stuttering treatment, please go to For official ASHA policy pertaining to the standards and implementation of the Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology, please go to or contact the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association at or 1-800-498-2071.

For additional information, please reference the following sites:

A Guide to Verifying Competencies in Speech-Language Pathology:

ASHA's Knowledge and Skills Acquisition: