Therapy for Teenagers who Stutter
Teens play an active role in guiding the therapy process and deciding what works for them. They set their goals and we help them become outstanding communicators. In therapy, we address all aspects of stuttering
Motor - (make talking smoother, ease out of moments of stuttering, forward moving speech.)
Affective - (how you feel about stuttering, being comfortable stuttering- if we react strongly to stuttering, we get more tense and thus stutter more!)
Social - (how stuttering impacts you at school, and when interacting with friends)
Cognitive- (how the speech mechanism works, where tension is in your speech mechanism)
As soon as each teen is ready and comfortable, we move to real-life speaking situations (i.e. talking on the phone, asking questions in class, talking to teachers, ordering at restaurants, classroom presentations etc.). In addition, we help teens get connected to other teens who stutter through group therapy.
Frequently asked questions about teenage stuttering therapy
The Center for StThe Center for Stuttering & Communication was established in 2009 and provides exceptional stuttering and communication therapy to children and adults. Through the latest evidence based stuttering therapy, it provides people who stutter a place to find their voice and speak freely. The owner, Stephanie Hirsh, M.A. CCC-SLP is one of Chicago's leading experts in stuttering and has made it her life mission to help fellow people who stutter communicate effectively and not let stuttering impact their daily life and life choices. uttering & Communication was established in 2009 and provides exceptional stuttering and communication therapy to children and adults. Through the latest evidence based stuttering therapy, it provides people who stutter a place to find their voice and speak freely. The owner, Stephanie Hirsh, M.A. CCC-SLP is one of Chicago's leading experts in stuttering and has made it her life mission to help fellow people who stutter communicate effectively and not let stuttering impact their daily life and life choices.
What is stuttering?
Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized by disruptions or disfluencies in speech. These disfluencies typically present themselves as repetitions, prolongations, or blocks,. In addition, people who stutter frequently exhibit physical tension in their speech muscles, as well as feelings of fear, shame, embarrassment. This combination might cause a person who stutters to develop secondary characteristics (e.g. closing eyes, taping foot), avoid stuttering, avoid speaking situations, and make different life choices.
What does teenage stuttering therapy look like?
Typically the teenage years are a very difficult time to be a person who stutters. Like all teenagers, it is difficult to stand out and be different. Therefore it is critical in therapy that we acknowledge these feelings, problem solve how to gain the confidence and comfort to be comfortable with one's stutter while at the same time work on making talking easier (stuttering modification, fluency enhancing techniques.) Teens learn about stuttering and to how to advocate for themselves. They learn how the speech mechanism works and discover how they are reacting to stuttering and how it is impacting their life. Therapy is tailored to each teen's needs and goals. We start in the therapy room and when he/she is ready we move to real-life situations. We help each teen take risks, gain confidence, speak freely, and communicate effectively!
Will therapy help me become comfortable meeting new people, order food at restaurants, or make classroom presentations?
Yes! In therapy you will set your goals and we will work on accomplishing these goals. We will help you achieve your speaking goals and overcome your fears to become an exceptional communicator.
Why are saying certain words so hard?
Many people who stutter have difficulty with certain words. These are typically the words that you can't change. For example, your name, street name, university, job tile, etc.). These words become hard because there is a negative or multiple negative experiences associated with saying these words. Once someone stutters on a word, and associates it as being hard, then the next time that word comes up, the person anticipates it, tenses up and voila... stuttering occurs. All words are created equal except when we begin asscoiating them as being hard. Once we think of them as being difficult, then we tense up and they actually do become very difficult and that stuttering is very real!! But the good news is we can reverse this cycle and help you make these words easy again and equal to any other word you say!!!!
I've had therapy is the past, how will this be different?
We offer a multi-dimentional stuttering therapy that addresses the entirety of stuttering. Many times, people who have only participated in fluency enhancing therapy (therapy that just focuses on being fluent) experience immediate relapse. Fluency enhancing therapy only partially addresses the tip of the iceberg, the physical aspects of stuttering (repetitions, blocks, prolongations). Unfortunately, like stuttering, if you try to chip away at the top of an iceberg it just comes right back to the surface. Thus, for stuttering therapy to be effective, it is critical to treat all aspects of stuttering: the motor, social, cognitive and affective components of stuttering.