How Does a Professional Plan Treatment for Someone Who Stutters

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Stuttering is a disorder. Although there is no known cure, a speech language can develop a plan so this can help someone who stutters.

The first step is for the speech language pathologist to do an assessment of the individual. This means screening all areas of communicative function and then goes in depth in the form of clinical observations, standardized and non-standardized tests.

If the results show that the child’s language development is delayed, then this will focus on language. If the language development is not the problem then it will focus on something else like fluency. But in some cases, the child has both problems.

The speech language therapist is not the only one who gathers information before recommending the proper treatment. Other data that was collected from other medical professionals will also be checked to see if both are accurate.

Many specialists use the 4 levels of linguistic analysis to assess the child. These four levels are namely phonetic and phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic-pragmatic.

1. In the phonological level, the specialist will observe how well the child is able to understand, store and manipulate speech sounds.

2. In the morphological level, this focuses more on how the child is able to understand and manipulate grammar.

3. The syntactic level assesses how well the child is able to understand word-order and sentence-types.

4. The last which is semantic-pragmatic will see how the child is able to understand gestures, body language, tone of voice and words in social contexts.

With this information, the speech language pathologist can now recommend the proper therapy for the child. Will it work? There are risks involved but if it doesn’t, there are others which can be utilized.

Since treatment for stuttering takes a long time, the speech language pathologist has to set realistic goals to monitor the progress of the child. There are three namely basic, intermediate and specific.

In the basic, everyone involved is simply trying to improve the child’s auditory processing abilities. In the intermediate, things become more challenging as the child is taught how to say words properly based on the four levels of linguistic analysis. The specific goal is what the program is all about. Yes, the child stutters but since there is no cure, everyone involved will try to minimize it.

At the clinic, a lot of exercises will be done to help the child. Some will be drills, games, stories, rhymes or tasks. Since treatment for the child does not end the minute he or she walks out of the clinic, some aids will be given to the parent so this can also be practiced at home.

The materials used in some cases are “home made” by the speech language pathologists that have been adapted or based from the child’s own toys and games.

Anyone who stutters needs to be assessed first before treatment can begin because there is no silver bullet that can make this disappear and even if you start treatment today, you shouldn’t expect to get results the day after. Treatment takes time and when the child is not in the clinic, the family should practice the drills and exercises at home not only 30 minutes to an hour a day but longer so this is recalled by the child.

When that happens, the child’s stuttering will be minimized and everyone will be happy with the progress.

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