stammerheadshark * blog about living with an acquired neurogenic stammer

Speech Therapy

You know, I never really knew what kind of impact speech therapy could have on people until I found myself needing it.

There’s so many components of speech and consequently so many different issues a speech therapist might have to try and resolve in a patient, that it just didn’t occur to me that there’d be so many other needs than just managing the impact of a stammer. I thought they’d be dealing with stutters on a daily basis.

It’s down to this assumption that I was surprised how my speech therapist doesn’t always have a suggestion as to how we can deal with my “spech disfluency” as she puts it…I just thought she’d have all the answers and we’d be able to get me back to speaking normally in no time at all.

Big mistake. I’d gone in to speech therapy expecting a cure only to be informed that there isn’t one; to be told that the best I can hope for is that we find a route in to the brain through the therapy that alters the nature of the stammer and leaves it more managable, but that ultimately I will retain the stutter.

By altering the nature of the stammer she meant by decreasing the repetitions or finding a way of speaking that changes the formation of what I want to communicate.

“But,” I protested “that Gareth Gates had his stutter cured” and was promptly informed that he actually hadn’t – he’d just learnt to manage it in certain situations. So, that’s the goal really; that if it’s not going to go away, that instead I can learn to manage and control it.

Back on track then; she also informed me that there’s two different types of stammer.

Developmental – some kids develop a speech disfluency when they’re young due to over loading on the brain; in many cases this goes away as they grow up…and,

Acquired – where a speech disfluency is triggered by a brain injury or other accident; this doesn’t often go away.

1 Response to "Speech Therapy"

Even with developmental stammering, a person going to speech therapy will be looking for a cure… but will soon learn there isn’t one! I was the same…

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