Stuttering Research and Treatment Around the World: Brazil The research and treatment of stuttering in Brazil began in the 1960s in universities in São Paulo, and was greatly influenced by American authors like Van Riper and Johnson. Nowadays, the treatment of stuttering is performed mainly in private speech clinics and in some public hospitals and universities in big ... World Beat
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World Beat  |   October 01, 2005
Stuttering Research and Treatment Around the World: Brazil
Author Notes
  • Fernanda Papaterra Limongi, is a speech-language pathologist and a member of the National Committee of Speech Fluency Disorders. Contact her at fplfono@osite.com.br.
    Fernanda Papaterra Limongi, is a speech-language pathologist and a member of the National Committee of Speech Fluency Disorders. Contact her at fplfono@osite.com.br.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / International & Global / World Beat
World Beat   |   October 01, 2005
Stuttering Research and Treatment Around the World: Brazil
The ASHA Leader, October 2005, Vol. 10, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.WB3.10142005.6
The ASHA Leader, October 2005, Vol. 10, 6. doi:10.1044/leader.WB3.10142005.6
The research and treatment of stuttering in Brazil began in the 1960s in universities in São Paulo, and was greatly influenced by American authors like Van Riper and Johnson. Nowadays, the treatment of stuttering is performed mainly in private speech clinics and in some public hospitals and universities in big cities. In small cities no free treatment is available for those who stutter.
As in other countries, in Brazil the approaches available for the treatment of stuttering differ not only in terms of the goals they seek, but also in the specific strategies used to achieve them. Clinicians who dedicate themselves to the study of stuttering in Brazil, although well aware of the different ways of thinking about the problems and knowledgeable about controversies in the field of fluency disorders, have emphasized the need for a better understanding of the causes and treatment of stuttering.
National Committee
With the idea of deepening the studies on stuttering research in Brazil and gathering together professionals in this area for reflective work on fluency disorders, a group of SLPs decided to create the National Committee of Speech Fluency in São Paulo in 1997. Since then, this group has worked to bring together SLPs and other related professionals who are interested in the study of fluency and its disturbances; to encourage and improve the study and knowledge of fluency; to maintain cultural and scientific relations with similar entities in other countries; to promote national meetings and international courses-like the ones conducted by Janis Costello Ingham and Roger Ingham in 1998 and June Campbell in 2000; and to participate in national and international conventions.
Books and Authors
Several books on stuttering have been published in Brazil in the past three decades. One of them, Tratando Gagueira-Diferentes Abordagens (Treating Stuttering-Different Approaches; Org. Isis Meira, Cortez Editora) was published by the National Committee in 2002.
Some of the Brazilian authors represented in this text see stuttering as a behavioral disturbance (Alvarez et al.); others as a language problem (Bohnen & Chaves). Brito Pereira refers to various causes of stuttering and believes three factors determine its occurrence: predisposition, emotional factors, and social factors. Some (Ferrioli et al.) see stuttering as a symptom; Gargantini sees stuttering as a complex disturbance associated with excessively high muscle tension. Jakubovicz follows a behavioral approach, seeing stuttering as a behavior resulting from a response of the central nervous system, which changes its motor pattern each time it suffers negative influence from the environment. Meira analyzes the person who stutters, his feelings and attitudes related to it, as well as the stuttering created by the person who stutters in his body through atypical action of certain muscle groups. Papaterra-Limongi emphasizes the fact that SLPs do not treat communication disorders, but people who present these disorders. She uses a behaviorist approach, applying biofeedback techniques and behavioral changes proposed by Ryan and Moss.
ABRA GAGUEIRA: A Self-Help Group
In the past few years, a support group was created to promote interaction among people who stutter and to spread information about it. ABRA GAGUEIRA, founded in São Paulo in 2001, is the largest support organization in Brazil for people who stutter. It provides information about stuttering to the general public and supports local self-help groups as well as lines of communication among people who stutter.
The goals of ABRA GAGUEIRA also are to promote research in stuttering treatment; to produce informative material on aspects of stuttering; to provide a social network to bring people who stutter together; to sponsor seminars and conferences in stuttering treatment; to represent the affiliates in questions related to stuttering in political, therapeutic, educational, legal, and labor matters; to provide orientation about types of treatment available and credential clinicians; and to establish partnerships with similar entities, both national and international.
The group’s main projects are: monthly support groups (only for people who stutter); participation in discussion groups; creation and maintenance of a Web site where one can find information on stuttering; and legal orientation for people who stutter and find themselves discriminated against in their work. For the past years, the organization has defended, enhanced, and maintained the quality of life of people who stutter.
The organization is maintained financially by annual contributions of members and by volunteer contributions.
Although Brazil has made great progress in helping those who stutter, much still needs to be done. What is needed most is to accomplish access to cheaper treatment for a wider population range.
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FROM THIS ISSUE
October 2005
Volume 10, Issue 14