Fluency Disorders                                                                 Dr. Barbara Mathers-Schmidt

CSD 454   CF 420                                                                     Parks Hall 33

MWF 10-10:50 am                                                                   Office Hours:  to be posted

(CSD497 T 10-10:50 am)                                            E-mail Address: Barbara.Mathers-Schmidt@wwu.edu



TEXT:Guitar, B.  (1998).   Stuttering:  An integrated approach to its nature and treatment. (2nd ed.).           Baltimore, MD:  Williams & Wilkins.




Frequently you may find that as soon as someone realizes you are a specialist in communication disorders you will be asked about stuttering:  “What causes stuttering?”--or--“How do you cure stuttering?”  Stuttering is a disorder that intrigues the general population.  Stuttering is a disorder that continues to challenge the clinician and researcher alike.  And, of course, stuttering creates troubling communication barriers for the individual who stutters.  The good news is that we are learning more about stuttering as we redefine the field of inquiry, refine our clinical research designs, and apply new technology in laboratory studies. 


It is my intention to introduce you to the nature of stuttering by considering its definition, symptomatology, etiology, and development.  We will think about what we know about stuttering.  We will study explanations that have been discarded due to conclusive research findings.  Much of our readings and discussion will focus on current stuttering theories, models, and research.  Each student will be expected to read, evaluate, and discuss text and electronic media information and case examples.  During the second half of the quarter we will focus on a developmental model, specific treatment approaches and assessment.  I will guide your practical application of treatment/assessment by highlighting three approaches.  By the end of the quarter you will have some tools for developing your philosophy about the nature of stuttering.  Furthermore, you will be prepared to apply all that you have learned, including specific clinical techniques, in a supervised stuttering practicum once you enter a graduate program.





Your assigned readings include the text chapters that I have indicated on the syllabus.  During the lectures, I will highlight certain points in your readings and I will provide clarification of others.  I also will supplement the text material with information that is not presented in the text.  Please note that you are responsible for lecture material as well as all of the information in the assigned readings, even if it is not reviewed in the lecture.                              



Both the mid-term and final examinations will consist of objective and short essay questions.  The midterm will be worth 60 points and the final will be worth 75 points.  Make-up exams will only be given for absences excused in advance.  Under such rare circumstances the exam will be given LATE.  No student will be allowed to take an exam early.   


Videotape Review Assignment

This assignment will be completed during class sessions.  We will view videotaped samples of individuals who stutter.  You will categorize/describe the behaviors you observe according to definitions and formats which I will provide in class.  The assignment is worth 10 points.  You will be graded on completion of the stuttering analyses, written reflection, and participation in class discussion.  If you are absent the days we complete these tasks, you will miss the opportunity to learn from the process and to earn up to 10 points toward your final grade.


Participation in the International Stuttering Online Conference October 1-22

(Starting October 1st, the conference can be found by its link to the Stuttering Home Page - Link:  http://www.stutteringhomepage.com.  Look for the link that says ISAD 2005-Online Conference.)

The eighth annual conference is one of the largest professional conferences of the year.  This year’s theme is “Community Vision for Global Action.”  Individuals interested in stuttering will discuss stuttering online.  Presentations by individuals from many countries will be posted for reading on the web site.  Feedback and discussion is invited through an Internet bulletin board (threaded discussion).  You are required to access at least one discussion and post at least one comment and question during the first two weeks of the conference.  You must download a copy of your comments and the response/discussion this generated and turn this into your professor by October 25 (5 points).  You also must participate in small group and class discussions, sharing your impressions of the conference (5 points).

The conference will feature a wide variety of topics, including cluttering and other unusual fluency disorders, support group meeting ideas, free software designed to aid in assessment, powerpoint programs to adapt, information on drug treatment, the use of voluntary stuttering, treatment ideas for children and teens, the use of narratives, and much more.

Inquiry Paper

This assignment is due in class on November 30.  You are required to write an 8-10 page paper on a selected topic of interest regarding the nature or clinical management of stuttering or cluttering.  I will provide written information regarding topics, purpose, process, format, and evaluation.  This will be discussed in the CSD 497 course.  The assignment is worth 50 points.  Two points will be lost for each class day an assignment is late.  You are welcome to turn the paper in early, before the Thanksgiving holiday.



                                                      Percentage                                                 Grade

                                                        93-100                                 A

                                                        90-92.9                               A-

                                                        87-89.9                               B+

                                                        83-86.9                               B

                                                        80-82.9                               B-

                                                        77-79.9                               C+

                                                        73-76.9                               C

                                                        70-72.9                               C-

                                                        65-69.9                               D


Date                                                                 Topic                                                                                                                                                                         Assignment

9/21                                       Introduction                                                                                                                                              Review syllabus; in class                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           written analysis of stuttering


9/23                                       What is stuttering?                                                                                                                                                Chapter 1

thru                                        Definition, identification

9/30                                       Symptoms:

                                                                                 Core and secondary


                                                                                 Cognitive and emotional involvement

                                                      (In class sample analyses; reflection; discussion)



10/3                                       What we know about stuttering:

thru                                        Onset; who stutters; recovery;

10/7                                     factors contributing to symptom variability



10/10                                  Theories/Models of Stuttering:                                                                                                     Chapter 2

thru                                        Historical Review; Constitu-

10/17                                  tional Factors

                                                      (No class: 10/14 due to WSHA conference 10/13-15)


10/19                                  Theories/Models of Stuttering:                                                                                                     Chapter 3

thru                                        Developmental and Environmental

10/24                                  Influences

                                                      (Student led discussion re: factors and evidence)



10/25                                  ASSIGNMENT DUE                                                                                                             Internet conference project


10/26                                  Multifactorial perspective:  Integrated view                                                        Chapter 4

thru                                        regarding neurophysiological substrates and other

10/31                                  factors, including learning


11/2                                       MIDTERM EXAMINATION (Date of exam is approximate.)


11/4                                       Normal Disfluency and                                                                                                                                    Chapter 5

thru                                        Development of Stuttering                                                                                                                           & pp. 89-100

11/14                                  (Van Riper's tracks)


11/16                                  Treatment Considerations                                                                                                                             Chapter 6

thru                                        Stuttering Modification Therapy and Fluency Shaping

11/28                                    Adult--School Age--Pre-School

                                                        Coexisting speech-language disorders


11/18       Experiencing Stuttering:  A Personal Story                                      (Guest presentation)

11/23   Role-playing exercises


11/30                                  INQUIRY PAPER DUE


11/30                                  Assessment and Diagnosis                                                                                                                          Chapter 7 (optional)

thru                                        (Model of stuttering which guides assessment;

12/2                                       interview; log; class exercise in role-playing)



12/2                                       Course summary and reflection; student feedback regarding course


12/6                                       FINAL EXAMINATION             Tuesday, 12/6, 10:30-12:30