eNewsflash August 2014

To: Stuttering Community
From: Keith Boss
Regarding: August 2014 eNewsflash


Current and future e-Newsflashes

We have changed the way we link up with you. We will be using Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/isastutter) much more. Our e-newsflash (http://www.isastutter.org/news/e-newsflash), and One Voice (http://www.isastutter.org/news/one-voice-newsletter) will be notified to you via Facebook. Please add us to your favourites; please look at our Facebook page often; please contribute; tell us what you like or want improved; click on LIKE whenever possible. Comment about https://www.facebook.com/isastutter on your own Facebook page and ask your readers to visit and LIKE us! Tell us how we can help you or your local group. Let us know if you have any ideas about how to improve our Facebook use.


One Voice 36

One Voice is being prepared now. We will notify you when it is available on our website at http://www.isastutter.org/news/one-voice-newsletter via Facebook.


On-line Stuttering Conference in October and International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) on October 22nd

We continue our support for the On-line Stuttering Conference in October and International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) on October 22nd. Please visit http://www.isastutter.org/isad-2014-call-for-papers to find out how you can contribute an article for this October’s ISAD online Conference, or tell us about your plans for your local ISAD. Your contributions can be written or be a video message or a little of both. We depend on you for the success of the event. Time is short. Please visit quickly and send in an article soon.

Please visit us in October to read and see what others are talking about.


Africa

The African organisers are having difficulty raising sponsorship money for some African Delegates. How can you help?


ISA Business

We have transferred the majority of the money in the Danish accounts to a temporary account in the UK. We are seeking a permanent ISA account in the UK.

Outreach committee and the 5 sub committees. Discussions are taking place. We are in touch with Israel and a Chapter (Self Help Group) in Chicago USA. Both are interested in starting outreach in their own areas of the world. We will be helping them. Continuing work in hand. We are now linked with a Jordan based internet group.

World Congress 2016. Latest information in OneVoice 36.


Stuttering Therapies

(Please note. The ISA is presenting this information for review and consideration only. The ISA does not recommend any specific therapy for any person who stutters)

Kevin (Kevin A Eldridge, PhD, CCC-SLP) of the Logue Academy and his business partner provided a synopsis of their work for the last e-newsflash.

Here is the full article.

ADDRESSING FEAR: The Return to Natural Speech for Those Who Stutter

From a personal perspective as adults who stutters, and from the professional perspective of Board Certified Fluency Specialists, we have seen in our personal lives and in our clinical practices that fluency enhancing and stuttering modification strategies do not lead to natural speech.  We both felt that there must be another answer.  Since we first met almost 25 years ago, we have been passionately searching for a different approach.  At this time we believe that the two key components leading to the release of the natural speech a person who stutters already possesses are 1) decreasing communication apprehension and 2) doing more of “what is working” when the person who stutters (sometimes) is just talking.

When we talk about communication apprehension, we are talking about the fear of stuttering, the fear of talking and the fear of interacting with others associated with the disorder of stuttering.  McCrosky (1984) defined communication apprehension as “…the fear or anxiety associated with either real or anticipated communication with another person or persons.”  Research suggests that 20 – 30% of the general population experiences communication apprehension to a level that may warrant intervention (Richmond & McCrosky, 1998; Harris, 1980; Garrison and Garrison, 1979; Wheeless, 1971).  Communication apprehension is centered on the fear of interacting with others and leads to prematurely withdrawing from communicative interactions, or avoiding these interactions all together when the fear of interacting is too great.  People who are communicatively apprehensive tend to have low self-esteem and a low willingness to communicate (Richmond and McCrosky, 1998).  Although there is no evidence to suggest that individuals with communication apprehension are any less intelligent than other speakers, they are often perceived negatively by others secondary to the negative self-image that they project. 

Clinicians experienced with working with individuals who stutter should notice a similarity to the behavior exhibited by their clients who stutter.  According to Mulcahy et al. (2008) children as young as 3 years of age recognize stuttering and may view their stuttering peers negatively as young as 4 years of age.  It would not be surprising that children who experience this negative evaluation of their speech from such an early age begin to feel anxious about communicating.  Conversely children with state anxiety (i.e. a temporary emotional state related to perceived tension or apprehension) are at increased risk of stuttering (Weiss & Zebrowski, 1992).  Communication apprehension has the potential therefore, to be a causative agent as well as a response to stuttering.

Research suggests that like stuttering, an individual may inherit a predisposition to trait-like communication apprehension (Richmond and McCloskey, 1998).  Parental reaction and modeling is an important factor in the manner in which this trait will be expressed.  We recognize the role that the significant listener plays in the establishment and maintenance of communication apprehension, and therefore the potential role the listener plays in the establishment and maintenance of stuttering.  It is essential therefore that effective treatment for stuttering involve the significant listener as an active participant.  The importance of parents and other significant listeners in the treatment process cannot be overstated.  Parents must be involved from the first day of the assessment to the planning of treatment goals, to the ultimate decision of when to discharge from treatment.

Our approach allows for the release of natural speech in a person who stutters. It does not promote the forced fluency shaping or stuttering modification typically emphasized by traditional methods. We view a person who stutters as having a speech mechanism that is prone to breakdown under conditions a normally fluent speaker’s would not break down- but we do not view the speech mechanism as broken. Natural speech is not viewed as an exception that “just happens”.  If it happens sometimes, it can happen more.  The treatment goals of our approach focus on helping the person who stutters do more of what is already working.

This approach to treatment is supported by the work of Insoo Kim Berg and Steve de Shazer who drew from family therapy research and the work of Milton Erickson in the development of what is now known as Solution Focused Brief Therapy (Burns, 2005).  According to proponents of Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), in the midst of problem behaviors, there are times when the problem is diminished or absent altogether.  Instead of looking at these times as “exceptions”, they are seen as a solution to be focused on.  The focus of treatment therefore, becomes attempting to do more of what is working (i.e. what is the person who stutters doing when they are producing natural speech- in the absence of stuttering), rather than learning to do something different (i.e. stuttering modification or fluency training targets).

This approach challenges those who stutter, their parents, families, significant listeners – and the professionals providing treatment – to examine their own goals and beliefs concerning stuttering therapy.

Our approach focuses on the process of communication, not on the mechanics of speech. This therapeutic approach requires the person who stutters and significant listeners (parents, spouses, etc.) to honestly address the significant communication apprehension associated with being a person who stutters and better understanding what they are doing when they are communicating freely with the natural speech they already possess. We suggest that only by honestly addressing (and understanding) their own fear of stuttering, fear of talking, and fear of interacting with others, can the person who stutters truly be free to release their own natural speech. As noted earlier, this approach recognizes – and demands – the active involvement of identified significant listeners in the treatment process.

We hope this makes some sense to those of you reading this.  While some people say we are swimming upstream much of the time, we like the view from the water…

Please remember, I would like to hear from Therapists from all around the world who use alternative therapies (outside the conventional box). I would like an article from you about your treatment of people who stutter. I believe for example that the Japanese Self Help Groups look into the benefits of Assertiveness Training, Gestalt Therapy, Psychodrama, Transactional Analysis, Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy. I know of the use of ACT and an adapted Mindfulness Therapy.

Could I have volunteers to write an article on one of the above or on any other therapy out there being used with success? If so, please contact me so that I can include your article.

Would PWS contact me with details of an alternative therapy which worked for them.


UNICEF

Are any of our members involved with UNICEF projects to help stuttering children around the world? Would you like to be involved?

Please contact me.


ISP-RA (International Speech Project-Raising Awareness)

I have suggested we start a new ISA project. ISP-RA. As Jerry (gerald.maguire@ucr.edu)  is Chair of our Universities sub committee. He will run with this project, so if you have any input, or are interested in helping him, please contact him. This will start in Universities and spread to Schools, Media, Health departments / staff and government departments / staff.


My warmest wishes to you all.

Keith
Keith Boss (Chair International Stuttering Association (ISA))

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