IFA Congresses

Stuttering and Mental Health: International advocacy efforts for awareness and treatment

Mark IRWIN1*, Gerald MAGUIRE2, and Annie BRADBERRY3

International Fluency Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 2 National Stuttering Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International Stuttering Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract: The stuttering disorder has been shown to be associated with the same quality of life impairment as stroke, diabetes and heart disease (Blumgart, Tran, & Craig, 2010) but it receives far less funding and is still poorly understood. Why is this so? What can be done? Thispaper sets out to discuss a possible solution to this situation through a particular consideration of stuttering and mental health. It follows an initiative of the International Fluency Association’s Self Help and Advocacy (SHA) Committee which had agreed in early 2018 to request the stuttering community adopt the concept of Stuttered Speech Syndrome where Social Anxiety Disorder, which is also known to negatively impact quality of life and fluency, interweaves with stuttering. The aim is to provide weight to long-standing research-based recommendations that speech language pathologists routinely screen for Social Anxiety Disorder and, where positive, collaborate with a licensed mental health professional in multi-disciplinary care. The need for this concept has been agreed by the National Stuttering Association and the International Stuttering Association.

*Corresponding author

Read more: Stuttering and Mental Health: International advocacy efforts for awareness and treatment

Voices of Experience - Perspectives on Therapy Type and Need

Mark IRWIN1* and John STEGGLES2

International Fluency Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

International Stuttering Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                                                                 

Abstract. The speech disruption of Stuttering is restrictive, but any interweaving Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is much more restrictive. That is, in addition to experiencing dysfluency, to also suffer the shame, embarrassment, frustration and fear of stuttering to such an extent it causes a cycle of more stuttering, avoidance of social interaction, psychiatric ill health, and significant impairment of academic and career achievement, is more than just a speech problem.  Awareness of this fact is difficult to make given both conditions are referred to as Stuttering (now given the term Childhood Onset Fluency Disorder). The inability to differentiate these conditions succinctly has negative implications for public awareness messages and therapy. It restricts awareness of Social Anxiety Disorder by speech therapists as well as people who stutter, and therefore restricts the likelihood of referral for multi-disciplinary care. It also causes confusion with discussions of recovery. Has there been recovery from stuttering, recovery from SAD or recovery from both? The two authors make reference to their own contrasting personal experiences to highlight these issues and present a case for naming stuttering subtypes based on the presence or absence of SAD. 

*Corresponding author

Read more: Voices of Experience - Perspectives on Therapy Type and Need

Uniting PWS, PWC, Family and Researcher Perspectives on the Important Research Questions in Fluency Disorders

Nan BERNSTEIN RATNER1, Hanan HURWITZ2, Annie BRADBERRY3, and Kathleen SCALER SCOTT4

University of Maryland, College Park This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Israeli Stuttering Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

3International Fluency Association This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

4Misericordia University This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract. There is limited evidence of stakeholder involvement in setting priorities for stuttering and cluttering research. This paper will briefly summarize survey results gathered pre-Congress asking major stakeholders to detail their highest priority research questions, and use these data as a starting point to encourage interaction between researchers and consumers in setting priorities that can encourage funded research and advocacy efforts most meaningful to people who stutter (PWS) and families.

Read more: Uniting PWS, PWC, Family and Researcher Perspectives on the Important Research Questions in...

The Clinical Application of Prosthetic Tactile Pacing on Quantitative Stuttering Severity

Greg SNYDER, Sydney GULLEY, and Elizabeth WYLOT
The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract.  This study tested the effects of a tactile pacing smartphone application on overt stuttering frequency.  A smartphone application was developed by StutterLess LLC that uses the touch screens and vibration motors within Android or iPhone smartphones to provide discreet user-activated vibrotactile pacing.  This study reports data for increased overt fluency of speech in an adult stuttering population, whereby participants spoke concurrently with initiatory tactile pulses (ranging from approximately 0.5 to 1.0 second intervals) originating from a handheld smartphone during speech production.  Participants who stutter used the StutterLess smartphone application for 3 weeks; data was collected on a weekly basis over videoconference.  Results indicate that the StutterLess smartphone application was an effective fluency enhancer for over 60% of research participants; during this 3 week trial, users showed no signs of adaptation to vibrotactile pacing, but instead demonstrated trends toward increased fluency enhancement over time.

Read more: The Clinical Application of Prosthetic Tactile Pacing on Quantitative Stuttering Severity

Lexical and Phonological Strategies Used by Adults Who Stutter: An Eye Tracking Study

Kristin M. PELCZARSKI Kansas State University This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Abstract. Empirical evidence suggests that adults who stutter have difficulty completing tasks with nonwords, but perform similarly to non-stuttering adults when real words are used in the same tasks. The current eye tracking study investigates whether adults who stutter use a compensatory lexical access strategy to help bolster a less robust phonological system. Eye tracking and the visual world paradigm can be used to measure basic cognitive processes responsible for speech and reading, and have been successfully used to track both lexical access strategies and phonological strategies.

Read more: Lexical and Phonological Strategies Used by Adults Who Stutter: An Eye Tracking Study

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JFD

Journal of Fluency DisordersBrowse the current issue
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non-members)

The official journal of the International Fluency Association
IFA Members receive online access to JFD as a member benefit.

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