This is a threaded discussion page for the International Stuttering Awareness Day Online Conference paper,
The Birth of the YSP: Towards a theory on the Young Stuttering Person, by Anders
Lundberg and Sara Strom (Sweden). 

Focus groups

From: Ed Feuer
Date: 10/3/98
Time: 12:52:21 AM
Remote Name:


Anders and Sara, You pose interesting questions. You might get at least one answer by objectively exploring
the environment of young people who stutter. Do what the marketers do. Hold focus groups with fluent
speakers of the same age. Show them videos of young people who stutter. Ask numerous things about
attitudes. Ask these fluent young people what they think other people might think of these young people
who stutter. — Ed Feuer

Re: Focus groups

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/4/98
Time: 3:32:26 PM
Remote Name:


Hi, Ed! As always, good and valuable comments, and in case of exploring the stigma of the young, your
tips are fine, thank you. Now, we can of course see this in an interactionistic perspective (a perspective Sara
is more knowledgeable to write about), and I see more, for the time being, that the source of information is
most valid from those it personally concerns to be a stuttering young person, not those who were once.

adolescent therapy

From: chuck Goldman
Date: 10/3/98
Time: 12:24:27 PM
Remote Name:


Thanks for providing a new perspective on growing up and the changes in stuttering and its treatment. As a
clinician for 25 years, it always interested me that clients would seek therapy at rather predictable ages. For
the most part there's the 3-5 age range and the 12-15 age range and the adult. Clearly the "youth" or
adolescent stutterer poses a difficult challenge. To me a large part of the question boils down to, "how
independent is this adolscent?" To what extent is this referral parentally driven?" To what extent is family
and parents to be directly involved in therapy?' Is it not clear that these questions are more likely to be
apparent in the case of a child or in the case of an adult?"

Re: adolescent therapy

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/4/98
Time: 5:01:51 PM
Remote Name:


Thanks, Chuck Goldman, for your comments, one on therapy and the other on motivation. I will try to
answer them both, since one thing, routes on therapy, always depends on the other, the nature of

You ask first about the wish for quick fix and if that is more pronounced at this stage. In my experience,
yes. And that is, I believe, most pronounced in the younger part of this period, depending on, I also believe,
that life ahead is a most difficult thing to muster as such. Some young people don’t even think there is a life
worthwhile after the teens are over. Life is now and cure too. I see that as a very natural reaction. That wish,
as such, is a threat to us, the professionals, since we “know” that quick fixes don’t exist. Some of us, the
professionals, try to persuade the young persons into “our” perspective instead of listening until they have
developed their own in peace. And mourned it. That takes some doing and some time. And flowers do not
grow because they're pulled from the ground. 

And that way of reacting transfers over to you second comment or question. My response to you is twofold;
1/ the degree of independency and parental involvement are two extremely important issues and 2/ we have
to take our clients were THEY are, not where we hope they are. Therefore, we’d better be able to be
independent from our “professional parents” (as well as our personal ones, of course!) in order to meet the
needs of these young clients, because in this we were not trained. The clarification of the personal needs will
probably guide you pretty well into what your clinical action should be like. 

motivation in youth

From: chuck goldman
Date: 10/3/98
Time: 12:31:37 PM
Remote Name:


Do you believe that resistance to therapy is more pronounced in this "logopedic latency" stage? Do you share
the experience that a "quick fix" is most desired and in fact articulated in this stage?

Re: motivation in youth

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/4/98
Time: 5:03:46 PM
Remote Name:


Please, look for a reply to this on the earlier comment by Chuck Goldman!

Adolescent support

From: Charlet Sperbeck 
Date: 10/8/98
Time: 7:33:37 PM
Remote Name:


I just read Lee Caggiano's paper. Your paper certainly addresses the concerns she is experiencing with her
son. I agree with you that adolescence is a time of life that presents unique needs and pressures for young
people. I have been a practicing speech-language clinician in the schools for 22 years. The information in
your charts made me think of two adolescent male stutters that I worked with early in my career. I was
always frustrated with one young man who would forget to come to therapy and seemed irresponsible. Your
comments helped me look at this young man in a new light. Thank you for the insight. Another graduate
student(early 20's) and I had a lengthy discussion about the age of the adolescent (15-25). We both have
noticed a change from childhood to early adolescence between 5th and 6th grade, which would be 11-12
years of age. The other student didn't view herself as being in the adolescent period of life !!! Thanks for a
thought-provoking paper. 

Charlet Sperbeck Graduate Student, Communication Disorders Mankato State University 

Re: Adolescent support

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/11/98
Time: 3:20:22 PM
Remote Name:


Dear Chalet Sperbeck, Thank you for for nice comments; glad if I could help you out, however late! 

Regarding the discussion between you and the early 20's, that made me think also about how different we
might think about this period and about ourselves and how we perhaps are unclear and undefined in our
terminology. You both felt a change from childhood to early adolescense, 11-12 years of age, and was that
in a biological, social, depending or other aspect, or many of those? You do look back and one wonders if
you would or could have described that change when you were in the middle of the change as well? The
other grad student doesn't view herself as being in the adolescent part of life. Could you ask her what period
of life she feels she is in right now and when that change occurred and how she noticed? My students are in
this age, most of them (early 20's) and of course they don't see it as I do - it doesn't fit being in adolescence
when studying at the university. 

After all, it is impossible to write history in the living presence! 

You know, I won't argue right or wrong in this at all. We have to learn about this, get data on it and realize
that we don't have a theory, just beginning to move towards one. 

Thanks for your comment. I do look forward to another one. 

Anders Lundberg

Group vs. Individual

From: Judy Kuster
Date: 10/17/98
Time: 6:43:49 PM
Remote Name:


Thanks for an interesting paper, Sara and Anders, and perhaps I'm anticipating your "next" paper;-), but. . .

Peer group pressure is "very much" for this group of individuals and "little" for adults. Could this be
interpreted as the potential for greater benefits for YSP in a *group* therapy situation, perhaps intensive,
such as summer camp programs rather than a model where they seem to be singled out in a school or even
hospital therapy setting from the rest of their peers during the school year?

Re: Group vs. Individual

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/23/98
Time: 12:21:44 PM
Remote Name:


Thanks for the comment, Judy. 

In my perspective, the peer group issue works in two ways, depending on what side of the therapeutic
decision the YSP is. Pre-therapy, I see the peer group issue be of an inhibiting kind for getting into a group
therapy setting. I think we can expect the YSP to resist being identified with others who also stutter - thereby
resign to be one of the outcasts. In my experience it has mostly taken some time for the young client to
accept going into a situation where stuttering is so common and so official. The strongest need from the
beginning is to hide, to talk alone with the clinician. After the clinician has shown he/she can be well trusted
the resistance is hesitatingly broken. 

Post-decision, if the group setting is skillfully arranged, the process can be the one you hope for, a positive
identification with the group participants, the realization of a togetherness strength, and the unique we-ness.
And that feeling of a strong "us" is, by the way, quite wonderful to see grow up. 

The proximity to emotional reactions in this period of life thus seems to work both ways. No data, however,
just an opinion, but that's all we have for the time being. Group identification, however, is strong medicine
and must be handled with skillful care. 


The Birth of the YSP

From: R. Flicek
Date: 10/19/98
Time: 5:05:01 PM
Remote Name:


As a new speech clinician working with young stutterers, I appreciated your insight into this age group. You
listed several references: are there any of these (or other information) that you would recommend that would
be especially helpful? Thank you!

Re: The Birth of the YSP

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/23/98
Time: 12:22:31 PM
Remote Name:


Thanks for the comment! 

Yes, in order to understand and get the perspective, I think this one is: Schwartz, H.D.: Adolescents Who
Stutter. J. of Fluency Dis. Vol 18, No 2&3. 1993. 

early adolescence

From: Charlet Sperbeck
Date: 10/19/98
Time: 10:38:41 PM
Remote Name:


Thank you for your response to my previous post. I have forwarded your question to my classmate
regarding her view of the period of life she is in now. Perhaps she will respond before the conference ends
on Thursday. In response to your question regarding our perceived change to early adolescence around
11-12 years of age, I feel that the change is biological as well as social. Biologically, physical maturation is
evident along with the emotions associated with these bodily changes. Socially, I see students at this age
wanting/demanding more independence. They are trying to develop their own identities within the
boundaries of what is socially acceptable among their peers. In my school of employment, the methods of
instruction, physical layout of the classroom, school rules, and team-building activites are unique to needs of
these "trans-escents"- students who are between the chilhood and adolescent stages of life. 

Re: early adolescence

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/23/98
Time: 12:23:23 PM
Remote Name:


I cannot but congratulate to the awareness, readiness and skill that obviously is present in the school
where you work. Add thereto the logopedic knowledge and therapeutic skill and there will be a
wonderful combination! 

Anders Lundberg

Suggestions for therapy...

From: Hermann Christmann
Date: 10/20/98
Time: 1:33:32 AM
Remote Name:


Hi Anders and Sara, 

Interesting reading your paper. I'm looking forward to seeing your suggestions for therapeutical intervention
for this age group. 

Re: Suggestions for therapy...

From: Anders Lundberg
Date: 10/23/98
Time: 12:24:09 PM
Remote Name: