Directed Self-Help Stuttering Therapy With A Motivated Teenage Boy

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Article 30

From: jerry johnson
Date: 10/19/01
Time: 8:05:11 PM
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Hi N.Bayer & Sandra: You have provided me with a forum that I wanted to take all along and you both provided me with this opportunity. My response has nothing to do with either of you so I hope you take my comments in the spirit in which they are intended. We have been taught by the book and the bias of our professors. A truism: there is no magic in therapy. Most PWS are fluent speakers, whether they know it or not, but we are taught to focus upon counting and analyzing "stuttering" almost to the point of...? You get my drift. How come we can't take a look at the whole picture. A teen has a pretty good handle on his/her needs and this need not be done in a clinical setting. Give the teen some rope and he/she will tell it like it is. Be prepared to deal with real issues that might not be expressed in person. Anytime email is quite powerful and personal. A teen might not be willing to talk about his/her true feelings up close and personal, but email affords this opportunity. Are we ready to deal with real life issues? Be ready to relate yourself to the teen. Talk about yourself and let go. Catharsis goes both ways. Don't be afraid to share yourself with the teen, but don't be afraid to call a spade a spade. Is this called "tough love?" I don't think so. Teens need understanding and not bullying. Why do some SLP's say: "Come back when you are ready!!!!" Who knows when they are "ready." Teens are neither kids nor adults. They need to find their place in their space. They need to find their comfort zone and you can help. It takes time and you have to be willing to give the teen space and time-your time. When they find their comfort zone in beating the Stuttering Beast they are home free. Don't be afraid of becoming emotionally attached to the teen, but at the same time be honest with him/her and honest with yourself too. You can only go so far, but "far" can be a long time away. Be willing to carry them on your back for as long as it takes. You, and they, will be the richer for it.

Last changed: September 12, 2005