The theoretical basis of treatment is the use of various techniques to reduce sensitivity to stuttering. The results also varied, and some of them brought positive results.
Stuttering is a speech disorder that is not only widespread among children and adults but also differs in the multifactorial causes of its occurrence. The disease is characterized by the complexity of pathogenetic mechanisms and the presence of various clinical manifestations. Stuttering is a discoordination convulsive disorder of speech that occurs in the process of communication utilizing systemic speech motor neurosis. Clinically, it is represented by direct, proper speech, that is, neuromotor disorders, and secondary, neurotic disorders, which often become dominant in adults. Stutterers are characterized by certain personality disorders and cognitive processes that affect the usefulness of communication and conditions of verbal and nonverbal means of contact.
The goal of treatment is to work with anxiety, which can cause stuttering. In addition, an important area of therapy for stuttering is to reduce the speech defect or almost wholly get rid of it.
Various methods are offered as treatment, for example, the Fluency Plus program. The results of this study are difficult to track because the previous data are outdated (Blomgren, 2010). Nevertheless, the program continues to exist, and specialists are working on its improvement. This program is designed for children who have problems with stuttering of varying severity.
The profile of symptoms contains various causes of the disease, including heredity, damage in the womb, and exhaustion of the nervous system. Motor disorders, impaired sense of rhythm, poor emotional development, and so on can contribute to the appearance and development of stuttering.
Treatment is offered for children aged from 1.5 years to older until almost complete recovery and absence of the disease. According to the severity, neurotic stuttering is distinguished, that is, after stress, and neurosis-like, which is a consequence of a condition of the nervous system. Treatment can be carried out both by a professional speech therapist and by parents at home under the supervision of an expert. Therapy can be carried out in specialized centers as well as at home.
The Fluency Plus program is conducted in three phases which include creation, transfer and maintenance.
The first phase is characterized by eight main parts, which include full breathing, reduced air pressure, and a Stretched syllable. In addition, the important parts of phase one are Slow Change, Reduced Articulation Pressure, Amplitude contour and Full Articulation Movement. The second phase involves transfer and cognitive restructuring. The third phase called maintenance begins when the client becomes stable.
- Fluency Plus Program is widespread in the USA, but it is also becoming popular in other countries of the world.
- Regular research in the field of psychology and psychiatry allows to expand the range of knowledge of the reasons why the appearance and development of stuttering are likely (Kroll et al., n.d.).
- The program is aimed at developing children’s fluency of speech, overcoming embarrassment and developing the ability to suppress stuttering.
The clinical conditions also include the desire of a child or an adult to be treated and the willingness to perform tasks (S.L. Hunter Speech works, n.d.). There are many different goals that are set before patients in order to recover or learn to control stuttering. In addition to treating the stuttering itself, specialists also work with the psychological state of the patient.
Fluency Plus program works on cognitive restructuring of children and forms fluency of speech. The three main phases help to work with speech defects of different levels and ultimately lead to a decrease in stuttering or its complete eradication. There are various principles that work together with basic therapy to make progress.
The principles that are aimed at getting rid of stuttering include the involvement of parents, the clinician as a therapist and instructor, immediate feedback and others. Home practice is also an integral part of the program, which is not too long, but has a significant impact on the progression of the child. In addition, there are various types of programs, such as individual or group and intensive and non-intensive. Parents and guardians can choose options depending on the degree of manifestation of the disease.
- The strengths of the treatment are that it has previously proven effective and also that it gives people hope that their ailment can disappear.
- The weakness may be child’s fear and embarrassment of visiting a doctor and undergoing treatment.
Treatment of stuttering requires a comprehensive approach for both children and adults. Undoubtedly, the techniques may be different, but still, they should all effectively contribute to the healing of patients. Fluency Plus Program, the work of speech therapists and psychologists together can help get rid of a life-complicating disease.
Blomgren, M. (2010). Stuttering treatment for adults: An update on contemporary approaches. Seminars in Speech and Language, 31(4), 272-282. Web.
Kroll, B., Crowell, M., Ayuyao, L., & Vekris, R. (n.d.). Fluency Plus Program. Web.
Maguire, G. A., Nguyen, D. L., Simonson, K. C., & Kurz, T. L. (2020). The pharmacologic treatment of stuttering and its neuropharmacologic basis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14(158), 1-8. Web.
Mongia, M., Gupta, A. K., Vijay, A., & Sadhu, R. (2019). Management of stuttering using cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness meditation. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 28(1), 4–12. Web.
S.L.Hunter SpeechWorks. (n.d.). Fluency Plus Program. Web.