How can speech therapy help a person who stutters?
Speech therapy equips  a person with a stutter with the tools to manage their speech at home, school, work, and in the community. It helps to release tension in speech and talk through words and sounds that get stuck. If yoau have received speech therapy in the past, therapy can also be helpful in preparing for upcoming situations (e.g, presentations and interviews). 

What may a speech therapy treatment session be like with Kaiting?
My philosophy is that therapy is more about than learning strategies. The ultimate goal of therapy is to functionally and confidently communicate in the real world, outside of the therapy room. This means that I work with the patient as a team to understand their life outside of the therapy room. We use speeches, games, and/or activities that are important and/or fun to the patient. When the patient has achieved a certain level of mastery and confidence, we can try talking to people on the phone or ordering coffee at a cafe. There is research that singing and acting (putting on a 'persona') help with stuttering. I believe in having fun and learning at the same time!

What are fluency disorders (stuttering vs. cluttering)?
Fluency disorders is an umbrella term for the following two diagnoses: stuttering or cluttering. When someone stutters, it means that it is hard for them to get the words out. The words may feel like they get stuck, and speech may sound arrhythmic and bumpy. A person who stutters typically is aware of their speech patterns. A person who clutters presents with arrhythmic speech, inappropriate pauses, and extremely fast speech. They 'trip over' words and mispronounce, such as saying 'ferchly' instead of 'fortunately." They also appear to have disorganized language and not know what they are trying to say. People with stuttering know what they are trying to say, but can't get it out. People who clutter typically do not recognize they are not understood without outside feedback. The two can coexist, and is known as stutter-cluttering.

What are some signs it is a stutter?
Some Common (not all) Red Flags Indicating a Stutter:
-monosyllabic word repetitions (e.g., "You-you ready yet?")
-sound repetitions (e.g., "I like to p-p-paint.")
-syllabic repetitions (e.g., "The mo-mo-movie was great.")
-blocking (words sound like they are getting blocked in the throat-sometimes there is another sound that comes out, sometime it is silent)
-word production with tension (e.g., eye blinking, fist tightening, head nodding, throat clearing, etc)

It is important to note that just because these symptoms are not apparent, does not mean the person is not experiencing a stutter. Some children may avoid certain social situation or use filler words (um, uh) to hide their stutter. 

How long should I wait before getting treatment for stuttering?
Most children who stutter begin to exhibit symptoms at 2 years and 6 months old. Receiving treatment as soon as possible is recommended. Toddlers have feelings, and they have the right to express themselves without fear.

What is the cause of stuttering? 
The current research suggests that neurophysiology and genetics may be the primary causes of stuttering. However, there is still more research to be done to provide a conclusive answer.

So stuttering is totally unrelated to psychological events?
There is no research evidence that stuttering is caused by parenting styles, emotional events, nor a child's personality (ex: shyness or anxiety). However, people can develop anxiety, shyness, low self esteem, or other negative reactions to their own speech as a result of stuttering.

Does stuttering indicate an intellectual delay?
Stuttering on its own does not indicate any cognitive delay. However, it can be possible that stuttering exists with another diagnosis. 

Are stuttering delays and literacy delays related?
Stuttering on its on does not indicate a literacy delay. However, it is possible that a learning disability in the area of reading could exist. Diagnosing both separately is very important. Some teachers may mark student's reading levels down if they do not understand stuttering, especially since some kids avoid reading out loud to hide their stutter. Your child has a right to accommodations. As a previous SLP in schools, I am happy to advise you on how to proceed with this process.

How can I deal with people who tease me about my stutter?
There are many different ways to deal with bullies, and during therapy, we can find the right way to handle this that is most represents who you are. What I wish someone had told me to say when I was a kid is, "I feel sorry for you that you feel so bad about yourself that you need to tease me in order to increase your own self esteem. I hope you can heal from that." That's just my own personal favorite line!

Does stuttering ever "go away"?
This is different for every person. There is not enough research to make a definite conclusion. However, all people who stutter can learn strategies to help manage their speech. This does not need to limit a person's future. 

Did you know many actors and public figures have a stutter?
James Earl Jones (Darth Vader's voice), Samuel L. Jackson, Joe Biden, Winston Churchill, Tiger Woods, Tim Gunn, Bruce Willis, Marilyn Monroe, Emily Blunt, and Ed Sheeran are just a few public figures who stutter whom have careers in which they constantly speak in public!

Why work with Kaiting?

  • Background working with children and adults with cluttering, stuttering and stutter-cluttering.
  • Treatment of patients in both individual therapy sessions and group therapy sessions
  • Experience treating patients with fluency disorders whom are cognitively typically developing, as well as with an intellectual delay
  • Experience with bilingual stuttering and cluttering patients
  • I take the time to understand all my client's learning styles, and provide individualized materials and instructions that will yield the best results.
  • Knowledge of promoting confidence and self-acceptance through self-study of various counseling materials.