Involve Parents in Preschool Stuttering Therapy? Yes! I enjoyed reading Peter Reitzes’s article about involving parents in treatment for preschool children who stutter. It is true that many parents can benefit from learning more about how to support their children’s speech and language development, particularly in the area of stuttering. Regardless of the specific program that is ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   November 01, 2014
Involve Parents in Preschool Stuttering Therapy? Yes!
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / School-Based Settings / Inbox
Inbox   |   November 01, 2014
Involve Parents in Preschool Stuttering Therapy? Yes!
The ASHA Leader, November 2014, Vol. 19, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.19112014.5
The ASHA Leader, November 2014, Vol. 19, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.IN3.19112014.5
I enjoyed reading Peter Reitzes’s article about involving parents in treatment for preschool children who stutter. It is true that many parents can benefit from learning more about how to support their children’s speech and language development, particularly in the area of stuttering. Regardless of the specific program that is selected, research clearly supports the use of parent-administered treatments. Some treatments help parents reduce demands on their child’s fluency abilities. Others teach parents to provide contingencies for the child’s fluent versus disfluent speech. Of course, our field has seen plenty of petty argumentation, in which one authority or another claims that his or her approach is superior. Still, there is one thing that all reasonable researchers agree on: Effective therapy for preschool children who stutter focuses, at least in part, on what the parents can do to help.
Unfortunately, it is often difficult for SLPs to provide parents with much-needed education within the school setting. Mr. Reitzes’s article highlights the benefits of helping parents become active participants in the therapy process. When parents are empowered to support their children’s development, and when they understand the principles underlying the changes they are seeking to make, then they are better prepared to engage in the problem-solving process. The result is better outcomes for the child and the family, so I second Mr. Reitzes’s call for SLPs to find ways to directly involve parents in treatment for preschool children who stutter. It’s not always easy to do, but it is definitely worth it!
J. Scott Yaruss, Pittsburgh

The Leader received several letters regarding the message of increased parental involvement in early stuttering treatment that was outlined in “The Powered-Up Parent” (July 2014).

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November 2014
Volume 19, Issue 11