We need to talk about therapy for children who stammer: a new approach

In the previous blog post, ‘We need to talk about therapy for children who stammer’ (March, 2019) we argued against traditional, medical model practices which perceive stammering as un-natural or disordered, and focus on eradicating or diminishing stammering. We argued for a new, consistent approach to support children who stammer in their early years; one … read more…

Reflecting on the power behind language

Working as a speech and language therapist for over 15 years, I had some awareness of the social model of disability, but it’s fair to say that most of my training taught me to view communication differences from a medical model perspective. There isn’t anything too unusual about this as a speech and language therapist. … read more…

Re-imagining adult stammering therapy

Last year, I went to a talk by Max Gattie on the therapies available to adults who stammer. Max listed the core approaches most people opt for: City Lit, NHS therapy, McGuire and Starfish. I realised, whilst looking at the whiteboard he wrote them on, that they are all informed to some extent by the … read more…

Personal reflections on shades of fluency

For those who stammer, the notion of fluency is something that has flittered through thoughts and conversations over many years. Early on, we are not necessarily aware of the terminology, but we begin to notice physical and emotional differences between words that flow more easily than others. Later, any venture into speech therapy likely exposes … read more…

In the Face of Jargon

In Patrick Campbell’s previous blog, he talks about the “common language we hear in and around speech and language therapy” and the “language of childhood therapy.” As the parent of a now-23-year-old who stutters, I never questioned what a therapist meant when they talked of “speech therapy.” This is a topic now on my mind … read more…

A Potted Glossary of Speech and Language Therapy

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I believe one of the advantages of stammering is the intimate relationship with language it brings. Stammerers think, feel and speak language in a way that is at once broken but at the same time filled with opportunities. Blocking, repeating and word-swapping can all be seen as failures of communication, but they also open up avenues of speech that would in a fluent person go unexplored. Indeed, the multitude of authors who stammer – David Mitchell, John Updike, Lewis Carroll – evidence the unique apprenticeship in language offered by stammering.

It is with this in mind, the importance of words to people who stammer, that I want to begin to reflect on some of the common language we hear in and around speech and language therapy.

read more…A Potted Glossary of Speech and Language Therapy