Stuttering is a disruption in the forward flow of speech
characterized by sound and syllable repetitions (e.g. g-g-going) and
sound prolongations (e.g. gooooing or ....going).
While many children exhibit breakdowns in fluency, these breakdowns usually occur as repetitions of whole words (e.g. mommy, mommy, can can
can I go outside) or phrases (I want, I want, I want to go.) In contrast, many children who stutter begin producing stuttering type
disfluencies right from the onset of their problem. When a child is producing 3 or more of these stuttering type disfluencies in a
100-syllable conversational sample, a parent should consult with a speech-language pathologist who specializes in the area of stuttering.
Seeking assistance in the form of an evaluation and/or treatment will not cause a problem to get worse. Objective information regarding the
nature of a child's problem will often help to improve the problem. An informed parent can provide an environment at home that is conducive
toward the development of fluent speech.
The focus of therapy at the ICD is a program that meets the needs of an individual client. While the majority of clients at the ICD are
children and adolescents, Dr. Schwartz has specific skills for working with adult stutterers. Dr. Schwartz's specialization with adult
clients is unique among speech services available within the Chicagoland area. The program of therapy for all clients focuses on the
specific needs of the client rather than a "cookbook" approach that seemingly works for all clients.
For adults who stutter, the problem is not hopeless. Many adults can learn to become more fluent with changes not only observed in speech
fluency but also concomitant changes in the client's attitudes about communication.
Dr. Schwartz believes that stuttering therapy is hard work. Clients who are willing to work to change their speech will be successful in
therapy. Stuttering behavior does not change overnight. Consistent attendance in therapy and consistent practice will result in more fluent
speech although no promises, cures, or guarantees are provided.
At the Institute for Communicative Disorders we can provide the following services:
- Comprehensive evaluation of children and adults that focuses on the client's speech, his/her communicative environment, and
his/her emotional reactions associated with their stuttering.
- Consultation regarding the nature of the client's stuttering problem.
- Individual management and planning that includes programs for parents as well as individualized speech therapy programs that
meet the needs of the individual client.
- Therapy programs that consider the client as an individual with different emotional reactions and concerns.
- Therapy programs that not only focus on establishing fluency within the clinical setting but a structured program for
transferring fluency beyond the clinic room.
- Parent/child fluency programs for preschoolers and kindergarten children. Parents are included in therapy and learn methods for
making speech modifications at home. These programs have proven to be extremely successful with a significant decrease in the
amount of stuttering produced by the child.
- Consultation with school personnel in an effort to provide the maximum type of service for school age children.
- We encourage speech-language pathologists from the community to sit in and observe therapy in an effort to share information
and learn more about the stuttering programs offered at the Institute for Communicative Disorders.