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Itʼs Not Stuttering, But What Is It?”

Preliminary Results of an Internet-based Survey

Kyra Swick, Vivian Sisskin, M.S., and Nan Bernstein Ratner, Ed.D., University of Maryland, College Park

Last spring, in response to the

many e-mails we received after discussing clients with atypical fluency profiles, we asked inter- ested clinicians to answer some survey questions. Our goal was to explore how frequently clinicians e n c o u n t e r e d clients with obvi- ous fluency con- cerns that did NOT appear to be stuttering. In this column,

Nan Ratner, Ed.D.

we present Part I of the responses we received and discuss our inter- pretation of your feedback. In this column, we ad- dress

general Vivian Sisskin, M.S. Kyra Swick

feedback about how often clini- cians see such “atypical” fluen- cy clients and how these clients differ from the more

typical clients who ap-

pear to fit more traditionally- defined characteristics of stutter- ing or cluttering.

Results A total of 220 clinicians re- sponded to this survey but did not

Continued on page 4

Margaret Griffo and her dog Waverly. Photo by Kraig Haver Photography. Special thanks to Alaska Dog Sports.

Animal-Assisted Therapy Dogs and Stuttering

W team.

By Greg Wilson Meet Margaret Griffo and her

dog Waverly — a beautiful two- and-a-half year old Keeshond. The duo make up a registered Pet Partners®

They are among only a handful who currently provide fluency therapy to pa- tients. Margaret trained as a speech-

ondersof averly

one day a week. “Those who come by for thera-

“People are judgmental,

dogs arenʼt. And those who struggle with fluency know

py know my dogs, and they love them,” said Margaret. “Some years ago, I was working with a young man with Down syndrome. He was very disfluent. I had an old Siberian Husky named Flint who made such a difference during our time together.” Margaret real-

the difference.” – Margaret Griffo

language pathologist and attend- ed The Stuttering Foundation’s Northwestern Workshop for Specialists more than two decades ago. She lives in Alaska, where she has worked in hospi- tals, nursing homes and the public schools over the years. Now in re- tirement, Margaret offers volun- teer fluency therapy in her home

ized that one of the main reasons dogs worked so well with her pa-

tients was their inherent non-judg- mental nature. “People are judg- mental, dogs aren’t. And those who struggle with fluency know the difference.” When Margaret was working in

schools, she often brought dogs to meet with children. “The connec- tion was immediate,” she added. In 2013, Margaret decided she

Continued on page 6  Since 1947 ... Helping Those Who Stutter

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