presented by J. Scott Yaruss
Many speech-language pathologists express that they are uncomfortable evaluating and treating school-age children who stutter. Part one of this three-part course is designed to help clinicians learn more about the nature of stuttering so they will be able to determine which school-age children are most likely to benefit from stuttering therapy. The course will begin with a description of the experience of stuttering from the perspective of children who live with this condition, followed by a detailed discussion of appropriate evaluation processes that lead to the development of comprehensive, individualized treatment programs. The purpose of the diagnostic evaluation for school-age children who stutter is to determine the appropriate time for treatment. Children who are ready to benefit from treatment will exhibit adverse impact as a result of their stuttering. Children who are experiencing minimal impact should not be enrolled in treatment, though there are still several ways that clinicians can support the child’s communication skills both in and out of the school setting.
J. Scott Yaruss, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, F-ASHA, is a Professor of Communicative Sciences and Disorders at Michigan State University. A board-certified specialist in fluency disorders, Dr. Yaruss has served on the board of directors for the National Stuttering Association and as Associate Coordinator for the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Special Interest Division for Fluency Disorders. His research examines factors that may contribute to the development of stuttering in young children as well as methods for assessing and evaluating treatment outcomes in children and adults who stutter. Dr. Yaruss has published nearly 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals and more than 100 other articles, papers, and chapters on stuttering. He is author, co-author, or editor of several booklets, books, and brochures on stuttering, including the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES), a comprehensive evaluation tool for children, adolescents, and adults who stutter; Early Childhood Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide, School-Age Stuttering Therapy: A Practical Guide, and Minimizing Bullying for Children Who Stutter (all published by Stuttering Therapy Resources, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to developing useful resources for helping speech-language pathologists help people who stutter. Visit Stuttering Therapy Resources Dr. Yaruss has been named Speech-Language Pathologist of the Year by the National Stuttering Association and received the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Science Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Dr. Yaruss teaches classes on stuttering and counseling methods for speech-language pathologists and frequently conducts workshops designed to help speech-language pathologists improve their ability to work with individuals who stutter. Click here for more information about Dr. Yaruss’s workshops.
Chapter 1 will describe the nature of stuttering in school-age children. The chapter will specifically focus on the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning Disability, and Health (ICF) as it applies to the stuttering disorder. The primary message will be that speech-language pathologists need to consider more than just observable speech fluency when working with those who stutter.
Chapter 2 will provide an overview of the process of evaluating stuttering in school-age children. This involves following the components of the ICF model to ensure that the entire disorder is considered. Thus, the evaluation will examine observable speech disfluencies (impairment), reactions to stuttering by the child and environment (context), and adverse impact of stuttering (activity limitation and participation restriction).
Chapter 3 will discuss the process of making treatment recommendations, including a consideration of which children are ready for treatment and which may need more time before they are ready to benefit from intervention. It will be argued that children who are not ready should not be forced into stuttering therapy and that clinicians should take care to prepare students carefully to ensure that they achieve the greatest possible success in therapy.