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The Impact of Language Abilities and Temperament on Stuttering

The Impact of Language Abilities and Temperament on Stuttering
Corrin Richels, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
June 21, 2012
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This text-based course is a transcript of the live seminar, “The Impact of Language Abilities and Temperament on Stuttering,” presented by Corrin Richels, Ph.D., CCC-SLP.

>> Corrin Richels:  Thank you for attending today.  I am going to discuss the impact of language abilities and temperament on stuttering.  My email address is available within the handout.  If you have questions as you are ruminating on the topic, feel free to email me. 

Today we will talk about speech-language processing models.  We will have a brief overview of research on linguistic variables in stuttering, and an even briefer overview of research on temperament variables in stuttering.  Then we will discuss the possible interactions of language and temperament on stuttering.  After this we will talk about some of the clinical implications of those two things. 

Motor or Linguistic Planning

Historically stuttering has been thought of as primarily a motor disturbance and really from the 1970’s to the 1990’s, this was the approach that we really took on stuttering and in how we treated stuttering.  From a motor perspective, we are talking about the execution of speech and language.  The stuttering therapy came out of thinking about a discoordination between respiration, phonation, and articulation.  If you think about the different techniques we use to treat stuttering, many of them are centered on those three things.  When you move to thinking about a linguistic process to stuttering, you have moved up the food chain from the actual output to the planning for output.  When you get to that level, you can think about the inefficient timing of the different linguistic elements such as word retrieval, grammatical encoding, syntactic structure and phonological encoding.  Then all of those things come together in order to result in motor execution.  I would like to talk today about making the shift from seeing stuttering as a motor output disorder to thinking about it as a linguistic planning and processing disorder that manifests in an abnormal motor movement. 

In order to do this, I wanted to discuss some different kinds of speech-language processing models.  We will start at the simplest level.  When we are preparing to communicate, we get input from our environment.  We map that input to our lexical representations and that results in the output from our mouth.  The path is in your ear, into your brain, and then out your mouth.  In Figure 1, you can see the Stackhouse and Wells model. 

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corrin richels

Corrin Richels, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Corrin G. Richels earned her Bachelor and Master of Science from James Madison University. She went on to earn a PhD in Speech and Hearing Science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN in May, 2004. She is an assistant professor at Old Dominion University in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in Norfolk, VA. Her interests include the assessment, treatment, and systematic study of language disorders including childhood stuttering.

 



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