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My client isnʼt fluent – but is it stuttering?

By Vivian Sisskin, M.S., and Nan Bernstein Ratner, Ed.D. University of Maryland

Atypical Disfluency - Part 2 In the last column, we began to

tackle the increasingly reported cases of children who are referred for “stuttering,” but whose fluency profiles do not comfortably fit conventional defi- nitions. We start- ed by discussing children who seem to have lan- guage formula- tion

Vivian Sisskin, M.S. problems, Nan Ratner, Ed.D.

rather than stutter, and apparently touched a nerve, since Nan’s inbox

basically flooded with reader re- ports of children with exactly this type of profile. Unfortunately, as many noted, performing a good differential diagnosis and qualify- ing the child for services seemed problematic, let alone developing an appropriate treatment plan. We agree that it is currently chal-

lenging to find appropriate tasks or tests to use in these cases and are compiling a list of potential re- sources to include in our next col- umn. In the meantime in this issue, we will discuss another increasing- ly reported fluency concern: chil- dren whose disfluencies are strik- ingly unlike stuttering, primarily because of location within words and clauses. The most frequently remarked atypical disfluency is

Continued on page 20

Since 1947 ... Helping Those Who Stutter

One Size Does Not Fit All Therapy needs to be tailored to the individual needs

Voon Pang, BSc (Speech Pathology), MNZSTA Auckland, New Zealand

I was recently made aware of

Speech Pathology Australia’s* proposal to the Australian gov- ernment to provide reimburse- ment for families who received only one type of treatment for pre-schoolers who stutter. One could argue that the proposal is helpful in providing affordable treatment for parents of pre-

schoolers who stutter. However, I believe that the negatives out- weigh the positive for the follow- ing reasons: 1) The concern of the con-

sumers’ — both child and parent — and service provider’s — speech-language pathologist — freedom of choice being taken away and subsequently the abili- ty to jointly decide on what Continued on page 18

New Translations Reach 8,000,000 People Thanks to Burim Azemi and the Kosovo Stuttering

Association, five books, Self-Therapy for the Stutterer, If Your Child Stutters: A Guide for Parents, Sometimes I Just Stutter, Trouble at Recess, and Stuttering: Straight Talk for Teachers, and four brochures, Myths About Stuttering, 6 Tips for Speaking with Someone Who Stutters, 8 Tips for Teachers, and 7 Tips for Parents, have been translated into Albanian, a language spoken by approximately 8 million people worldwide. Download these resources at

National Stuttering Awareness Week is May 11-17

Used with permission.

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