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Therapy then and now

Heather GrossmanHeather GrossmanHeather Grossman is the clinical director of the American Institute for Stuttering. She has worked for over 25 years as a speech pathologist for both children and adults. She recently gave a interview with Peter Reitzes of Stuttertalk and spoke about her career, working with people who stutter and the way speech therapy has changed over the decades.

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Stuttering and disability savings plans

piggybank iconIf you receive the disability tax credit you can apply for a government assisted savings plan.

For the longest time, I had a very real struggle. I knew and accepted that I stuttered. It was okay with me because it was a part of me, but not all of me. However, there was always something that nagged me. I hated being treated as different. All I wanted was to be seen as normal. I really disliked the word “stutterer”, even though that is what I am.

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Listening is a tool to use before you speak

illustrationThere is a well known saying, “we were born with one mouth and two ears because listening is twice as important as speaking”. For those of us that stutter, we probably think about communication more than most. However, what we often fail to realise is how communication is a two-way process. If I am to become a better communicator, and I don’t mean someone who does not stutter, it is imperative I listen, and do it actively. Words have for some time been my nemesis. I’ve changed what I wanted to say mid sentence, used fillers and avoided those awkward vowels and consonants to make my delivery appear more fluent. It’s a tiresome and frustrating sequence of events that has led me to wonder if I ever have the time to actually listen to what others are saying to me.

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Anxiety and stuttering treatment

illustrationSummary of the Research paper: Anxiety of children and adolescents who stutter: A review. By Kylie A. Smith, Lisa Iverach, Susan O’Briand, Elaina Kefalianosa, and Sheena Reilly. Published in the Journal of Fluency Disorders 40 (2014) 22–34.

Approaches to stuttering treatment have undergone changes over the decades. As in any field, practitioners don’t always entirely agree. But one thing all speech pathologists would definitely concur on is the need for more research into the nature of stuttering, its impact and causes, and implications for better treatment methods.

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Did Alan Turing stutter?

Alan TuringAlan Turing

You may have seen the recent movie, The Imitation Game, about British mathematician Alan Turing. During the Second World War he devised a machine, much like a computer, to break the encrypted "Enigma" code used by the Germans for communication. This gave the Allies a secret advantage and the ability to end the war much earlier than otherwise possible. Turing was not publicly credited for this during his lifetime.

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The stuttering patient: Stuttering and health care

This is a summary and review of the article "A Simple Case Of Chest Pain: Sensitizing Doctors To Patients With Disabilities" by Leana S. Wen, from Health Affairs, October 2014.

Leana Wen Dr. Leana S. Wen

In the recent issue of Health Affairs, Dr. Leana S. Wen discusses the problems people with communication difficulties sometimes have getting adequate medical attention. As she is a person who stutters herself, she brings some insight to the problem. In the article, she relates a story that took place in the emergency ward of a hospital where she was working as an intern. Late at night, a man with chest pains was brought in. He stuttered badly when the senior resident talked to him, and the doctor walked away from him telling Leana to “talk slowly so he understands.”

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