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A Quick Guide to Fluency Assessment of Adults and Adolescents

A Quick Guide to Fluency Assessment of Adults and Adolescents
Rodney Gabel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BRS-FD
July 5, 2011

This article is a written transcript of the course, “A Quick Guide to Fluency Assessment of Adults and Adolescents”, presented by Rodney Gabel on April 25, 2011.

This text is being provided in a rough draft format. Communication access realtime translation (cart) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be totally verbatim. The consumer should check with the moderator for any clarifications of the material.

>> Amy Natho: Our SpeechPathlogy.com E-learning Expert Seminar today is titled, “A Quick Guide to Fluency Assessment of Adults and Adolescents.”  At this time, it is my great pleasure to introduce Rodney Gabel.  Rodney Gabel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University.  He teaches courses and conducts research in stuttering.  Dr. Gabel has presented papers at national conventions, international conventions, and has published research articles all dealing with stuttering and other fluency disorders.  Welcome, Rodney, and thanks so much for being here to share your expertise today.


>> Rodney Gabel:  Thank you so much for having me.  I really appreciate the opportunity to be involved with SpeechPathology.com.  This is something I have been looking forward to doing for a while and I'm really happy to have this opportunity.  Before we get started I would like to just get a sense of how many people are currently working with adults who stutter.  We're looking at about five.  All right, thank you.  How many are working right now with adolescents who stutter?  Okay, so a few more.  Good.  I would suspect that some of those folks will be the same people as well.  I really hesitate to lump adolescents and adults together.  I think it is especially unfair to the adolescent group because I think they do deal with their own things.  As I often joke with my students, some would consider adolescence to almost be a condition or disease unto itself.  But I do think a lot of the assessment procedures that I talk about today will overlap.  We have about 55 minutes, so I certainly can't go into the kind of detail I would like to, but I will touch on some differences that you might see in the adolescent population.

As we go along today I should let you know that I do stutter myself.  This is sort of that phenomenon where one is talking to themselves in a room by themselves.  If it holds true knowing that most people who stutter don't stutter when they're talking to themselves, I probably won't have a lot of dysfluency.  But if there is anything that you miss at any time, please feel free to type me a quick chat question and I will respond to it, if not immediately, at an appropriate time as I move through my slides. 

Goals of a Diagnostic

I usually think about there being some basic goals to a diagnostic session.  I think we oftentimes think about a diagnostic session as that hour to 90 minutes that you might have to spend with a client at the early part of the relationship to get a sense of several things. 

Develop a Differential Diagnosis

First off, you develop that differential diagnosis.  With adolescents and adults this is not perhaps that big of a deal.  They're coming to you telling you that they stutter.  They probably have stuttered for a long time.  They probably have had tons of experience with therapy and you are perhaps, as their clinician, the next step in their story of stuttering and stuttering therapy.  But, yes, we could certainly be making a differential diagnosis with cluttering or stuttering or some other kind of fluency disorder.  I'm going to spend most of our time today talking about stuttering, since that would be the most common fluency disorder you're going to run into. 

Establish Rapport

During this diagnostic time, you're also probably looking to establish rapport and to give the client a sense of who you are and what you can offer them, but also to get a sense of who they are as a person aside from their stuttering disorder.  You probably are really trying to get a sense of where they are with their stuttering, get a sense of their story, a sense of their narrative about their problem and about how it affects them.  So I think establishing rapport is something you should really be thinking about.  Again, I think that's not unlike other sorts of diagnostics that you would be conducting. 

rodney gabel

Rodney Gabel, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BRS-FD

Rodney Gabel is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Bowling Green State University. He teaches courses and conducts research in stuttering. Dr. Gabel has presented papers at national conventions, international conventions, and has published research articles all dealing with stuttering and other fluency disorders.

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