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Stuttering 101: What Every SLP Should Know

Stuttering 101: What Every SLP Should Know
Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
August 11, 2015

>> Craig Coleman:  Stuttering is often identified by speech language pathologists as the most difficult area to treat, in terms of SLPs’ reluctance to treat it.  It is an area of our field that makes us uncomfortable.  Today we will try to talk about why that might be. I think there are several different reasons for that.  We will start to demystify it so you feel more comfortable and capable of treating it as you move forward. 

Learning Objectives

Some of the things we hope to accomplish today, specifically in these two hours, are to describe the various types of stuttering and the differences between stuttering and disfluency.  That is something that we are going to spend a fair amount of time on today.  This may seem very basic, but it is not.  It is important, because it helps to shape what we do from an assessment and treatment standpoint in therapy with these children.  If our definition of stuttering is inaccurate, then how we assess it and treat it will also be inaccurate.  Setting that foundational knowledge is very important. 

We want to talk about the current theoretical framework of stuttering.  We will talk about how we got to this point, the history of how we have viewed stuttering from a theoretical standpoint, and how that history has shaped our terminology now. 

We also want to talk about incidence and prevalence information and some basic facts about stuttering to help us identify different types of stuttering and how common it is.  For example, certain types of stuttering, like psychogenic stuttering and neurogenic stuttering, are things that we want to talk about, but the prevalence and incidence of those types of stuttering is not nearly as significant as the prevalence and incidence of childhood-onset stuttering.  We will spend more time talking about childhood-onset stuttering. 


I will be talking about the Overall Assessment of the Speaker’s Experience of Stuttering (OASES) instrument as a way to assess emotions and affective and cognitive responses to stuttering.  The OASES is published by Pearson.  I do receive royalties from Pearson because I am a co-author of the OASES.  I may be talking a bit about using children’s books in therapy and tele-therapy, and I do have an ownership interest in the Virtual Stuttering Center where I do tele-therapy, and in MCSpeech Books, where we sell the children’s books that I co-authored.  I am also the current coordinator of ASHA’s SIG 4, which is the special interest group on fluency and fluency disorders. 

craig coleman

Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F

Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, is an assistant professor at Marshall University and a Board-Certified Specialist in Fluency Disorders. Coleman is currently serving as coordinator of ASHA SIG 4 (Fluency) and as a member of the ASHA ad-hoc committee to revise the scope of practice in speech-language pathology. Craig is an adjunct instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Stuttering U. summer program for children who stutter, their families, and SLPs.

Related Courses

The Ripple Effect of Stuttering: A Community-Based Approach
Presented by Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, ASHA Fellow, Mary Weidner, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #9217Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This is Part 2 of a four-part series. The stuttering experience has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the child who stutters. Parents, teachers, peers, and others must possess both knowledge and skills to best support children who stutter. This course will highlight new clinical tools and resources to provide a community-based treatment approach for stuttering. (Part 1 - Course 9278, Part 3 - Course 9301, Part 4 - Course 9304)

Best Practices for Stuttering Assessment and Treatment Including the Role of Support Groups
Presented by Katie Gore, MA, CCC-SLP, Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, ASHA Fellow
Course: #9225Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This course is Part 4 in a four-part series. It will provide an overview of stuttering peer support communities and the clinical importance of incorporating community experience into therapy. Current research and practical application questions will address goal writing, SLP roles and responsibilities, and common challenges connecting therapy to the community. Case studies will be shared to highlight assessment and treatment across various age ranges. (Part 1 - Course 9278, Part 2 - Course 9286, Part 3 - Course 9301)

Overview and Assessment of Stuttering: What Every SLP Should Know
Presented by Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, ASHA Fellow
Course: #9215Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This is Part 1 of a four-part series. This course will cover current research and trends in stuttering. Specifically, information related to risk factors and epidemiology, as well as the foundational knowledge needed to assess and treat stuttering, will be addressed. Additionally, assessment of people who stutter will be described through the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model, which focuses on all aspects of stuttering, beyond the surface-level characteristics. (Part 2 - Course 9286, Part 3 - Course 9301, Part 4 - Course 9304)

Creating Allies and Developing Advocacy Skills in Stuttering Therapy
Presented by Brooke Leiman Edwards, MA, CCC-SLP, Hope Gerlach, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #92232 Hours
This is Part 3 of a four-part series. This course will focus on specific strategies for involving parents/caregivers in stuttering therapy, and promoting self-advocacy skills among clients who stutter. Through the use of case studies, the speakers will problem-solve obstacles commonly faced by speech-language pathologists when addressing these important aspects of therapy. (Part 1 - Course 9278, Part 2 - Course 9286, Part 4 - Course 9304)

20Q: Early Childhood Stuttering: Less-Direct and More-Direct Treatment
Presented by J. Scott Yaruss, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, Nina Reardon-Reeves, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Course: #8978Level: Intermediate1 Hour
The key issues in the treatment of early childhood stuttering, with a focus on less-direct and more-direct treatment approaches are addressed in this course. Ways that clinicians can draw upon various approaches to develop individualized treatment so that each child’s and family’s individual needs are addressed are discussed.

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