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Stuttering: Effective Treatment Techniques for Children and Adults

Stuttering: Effective Treatment Techniques for Children and Adults
Marilee Fini
April 1, 2011
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This text-based course is a written transcript of the course, "Stuttering: Effective Treatment Techniques for Children and Adult", presented by Marilee Fini on January 13, 2011.

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>> Amy Hansen: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to today's expert seminar titled "Stuttering: Effective Treatment Techniques for Children and Adults," presented by Marilee Fini. We would like to welcome her back. She had joined us in December. Welcome back, Marilee. I'm Amy Hansen and I'll be your moderator for today's online course. As you can see, we do have two handouts today. At this time it is very much an honor to introduce Marilee Fini this afternoon. Marilee is a practicing speech pathologist in Cleveland, Ohio running her own private practice, MLF Speech Therapy. She graduated from John Carroll University with a B.A. in Communications in 1991 and graduated from Kent State University with an M.A. in Speech Pathology in 1993. Marilee regularly speaks on the subject of stuttering throughout the U.S., often being an invited speaker for speech and language conventions as well as presenting for seminar companies, schools, hospitals and other agencies. In her workshops, she sheds a unique light on the subject matter of stuttering, since she has spent most of her life dealing with her own stuttering. So welcome back, Marilee, and thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us today.

[Applause]

>> Marilee Fini: Oh, it is a complete pleasure. My name is M-m-m-arilee Fini. I always like to start off my talks in person or online with stuttering, because I want to feel comfortable and I also want you to feel comfortable as well. A lot of times people ask me, "How do speech pathology and stuttering go together? Tell me, how do you deal with your speech?" And I always say, "I consider myself a work in progress." Certainly my speech is not perfect. I'm not 100% fluent. But I'm certainly okay with that. I certainly work on my speech, on eye contact, on reducing tension, and most importantly on a daily basis, reducing fears and entering those situations that might be really scary but going and doing them. Today I'm really excited to have the opportunity to present to you. I'm going to talk about treatment techniques for children and adults and, of course, the majority of the talk is going to be treatment techniques. However, also consider emotions and feelings, if anybody has watched my other course. We really need to not only treat the physical part but the emotional part of stuttering together, and that makes a beautiful package. For our purposes today, we're going to concentrate on the physical part of stuttering. However, there certainly may be times when I will mention the emotional part. If you wanted to hear a whole talk on that, there is one called "Stuttering: Working on Negative Beliefs and Emotions" that I have done for SpeechPathlogy.com.

My contact information is here on the slide, just for your information if you ever wanted to get hold of me (mlf_speech@yahoo.com). You know that there are two handouts. We already talked about that.

Let's go ahead and start with my story of stuttering. I'm going to tell you a little bit about my early experiences. I started to stutter when I was about four years old, and I was very embarrassed and shameful of my stuttering and in denial that I stuttered. When I became aware of it, it was just like something that I didn't really want to deal with. When I was seven, I began to have speech therapy and I had therapy from the time I was seven through the time that I was an adult.

Most of the therapy that I had was fluency shaping, working on all of the breathing and easy onset and all of the speech, rather than just the moment of stuttering. What would happen is I would learn these great techniques in a clinical setting and then I would go out to the real world, and my speech would crumble and I would feel terrible. I felt a lot of pressure to be fluent from parents, family members, and speech pathologists, all people who really wanted good for me, but I felt a lot of pressure. Inside I felt like I was dying, because I felt so embarrassed and so shameful about my stuttering that it really held me back. Then I felt like a failure because I was a smart chickadee, but I couldn't figure out this thing called stuttering. So it really made me feel bad. I thought, "Bad talker, bad person." I really internalized it.

In 1992, I discovered an organization called the National Stuttering Association, a self help group for people that stutter. The picture that you see on the slide is of me giving a keynote address in Cleveland this summer.

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marilee fini

Marilee Fini