Our Speech-Language Pathologists offer intervention specifically designed for adults who stutter. We individualize each program by integrating evidence-based fluency techniques with related areas, such as confident voicing techniques, breath stream management, reduction of communication anxiety, and professional presentation and social skills.
Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects speech-motor coordination and results in a disruption of forward flowing speech. Each person who stutters is likely to experience the characteristics of stuttering differently. In our work with adults and teenagers, we address three major stuttering areas: core behaviours, secondary behaviours, and negative feelings, attitudes and beliefs about stuttering.
Once we achieve easy, free-flowing speech in a smaller capacity, we advance to more challenging levels in a systematic and individualized way, fostering independence and confidence in navigating moments of stuttering.
The Core Behaviours
Repetitions of sounds, syllables, words, phrases
This component is addressed through learning and application of fluency shaping, stuttering modification, respiratory-phonatory coordination, and relaxation techniques.
The Secondary Behaviours
These behaviours are often referred to as "struggle" behaviours and happen as a response to managing the core dysfluency. Some common examples include:
Substituting desired vocabulary or rephrasing sentences to avoid a potential disfluency
Using filler words or starters (um, like, so)
Avoiding situations that are fearful, such as attending social events, asking questions or answering the phone
Pretending not to know answers to avoid a potential disfluency
Physical movements of the body or head (e.g. blinking, grimacing)
Changes in breathing patterns
Using a quiet and timid voice
Negative Feelings, Attitudes and Beliefs
Many adults who stutter have developed unhelpful beliefs that lead to restrictions in life participation. An example of an unhelpful belief could be, "If I stutter in this moment, this person will think less of me". Many commonly express feeling less confidence, embarrassed and restricted.
Our clinicians work to address secondary behaviours and unhelpful beliefs and feelings through mindfulness, relaxation, cognitive behavioural therapy, and desensitization and approach strategies.