Stutter-Friendly SLPs

December 2014

It’s December 2014, and I’ve been thinking about stutter-friendly speech language pathologists. One of my Portland State University graduate students, Megan Feurerherd, used the term in her final paper and it caused me to reflect a little more about what SFSLPs are.

They are not afraid of stuttering.
They know they can’t cure stuttering and are freed by that knowledge.
They know it’s ok to talk about stuttering and they encourage clients to do so.
They are willing to put stuttering in their own mouths.
They have knowledge about stuttering and they want more.
They know there is more to stuttering than stuttering: they know about the iceberg.
They know that stuttering is not who the person is.
They work to build trust in treatment.
They know they are asking clients to work on something very hard and perhaps filled with negative emotions.
They understand relationship, risk/vulnerability, and gratitude.
They are family- friendly, employing parents, siblings, friends, and the community to help treat the client.
They are authentic.
They believe people who stutter can make progress.
They don’t worship at the alter of fluency.
They know their attitude toward stuttering will affect their clients, and they don’t take that responsibly lightly.
They understand their clients are not “broken” and that the SLP’s job is not to “fix” them.
They understand the value of support groups.
They are grateful for the opportunity to serve others.
They are gifts to their clients.

It is my great fortune to know some of these special people, and to teach students who are going to be these special people. They are indeed gifts to their clients and their communities.

Season’s Greetings from Glenn

© 2014 Glenn Weybright. All rights reserved.

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