Fluency Board Streamlines Recognition Process In an effort to attract more clinicians to its program, the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders (SBFD) has streamlined the process for obtaining specialty recognition. There are 3 million people who stutter in the United States, but most speech-language pathologists see few of them and have little opportunity to gain ... ASHA News
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ASHA News  |   May 01, 2010
Fluency Board Streamlines Recognition Process
Author Notes
  • James McClure, is the consumer representative to the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders, and also serves on the board of the National Stuttering Association. Contact him at jim@jamcclure.com.
    James McClure, is the consumer representative to the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders, and also serves on the board of the National Stuttering Association. Contact him at jim@jamcclure.com.×
  • Chamonix Olsen, MS, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD, is a clinician at the American Institute for Stuttering in New York City. She is the specialty recognition plan coordinator for the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders. Contact her at colsen@stutteringtreatment.org.
    Chamonix Olsen, MS, CCC-SLP, BRS-FD, is a clinician at the American Institute for Stuttering in New York City. She is the specialty recognition plan coordinator for the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders. Contact her at colsen@stutteringtreatment.org.×
Article Information
Professional Issues & Training / Speech, Voice & Prosody / ASHA News
ASHA News   |   May 01, 2010
Fluency Board Streamlines Recognition Process
The ASHA Leader, May 2010, Vol. 15, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.15062010.22
The ASHA Leader, May 2010, Vol. 15, 22-23. doi:10.1044/leader.AN3.15062010.22
In an effort to attract more clinicians to its program, the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders (SBFD) has streamlined the process for obtaining specialty recognition.
There are 3 million people who stutter in the United States, but most speech-language pathologists see few of them and have little opportunity to gain experience in fluency. Even though the specialty remains small—around 200 clinicians—specialized expertise is having an impact on stuttering treatment. A recent National Stuttering Association survey of people who stutter (NSA, 2009) showed that adults and children who worked with a board-recognized specialist were significantly more likely to consider their treatment successful. Children whose clinicians were specialists were less likely to avoid speaking situations and feel embarrassed about their stuttering.
Despite these positive results, however, most stuttering treatment is delivered by SLPs who have little training in fluency disorders. A 2007 survey of school-based SLPs found that 40% had not attended a workshop on stuttering since graduating from college and nearly half were not comfortable working with children who stutter. The majority of those surveyed were unfamiliar with current stuttering treatments and did not know how to contact a fluency specialist or stuttering support group (Tellis, Bressler, & Emerick, 2008).
Board-recognized specialists in fluency disorders (BRS-FD) have advanced training and clinical expertise. In addition to ASHA’s Certificate of Clinical Competence, specialists must have:
  • At least two years of full-time clinical experience

  • 100 hours of continuing education in fluency disorders

  • 25 hours of observation

  • 75 hours of supervised clinical practice with persons who stutter

  • A portfolio of clinical work to submit for approval by the specialty board.

To maintain their status, clinicians must earn 45 hours of continuing education in the area of fluency over a three-year period and maintain an active clinical practice in stuttering.
Nearly half of board-recognized specialists spend much of their time treating other speech and language disorders. An online SBFD survey of board-certified fluency specialists last year showed that specialists also serve as resources: nearly half teach at the university level, 78% help other SLPs with fluency issues, 68% present workshops or in-service training, and one-third are involved in research.
Streamlined Process
ASHA is reviewing the Clinical Specialty Recognition (CSR) program with the goal of enhancing the the CSR model in the discipline. In the interim, the SBFD has streamlined and clarified the requirements for recognition without diminishing the high standards required of specialists.
The streamlined approach features a new packet to help mentors guide candidates more effectively. In addition, candidates must submit only three five-minute clips to illustrate their treatment case studies and they may use videoconferencing to supplement live observations of more treatment sessions by experienced clinicians. The national written examination has been eliminated, and an online forum provides answers to questions from candidates in the specialty recognition process.
For more information, visit the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders online.
Why Specialty Recognition?

After completing the many requirements to become a fully licensed speech-language pathologist, why complete additional work to become a board-recognized specialist in fluency disorders? As one of the first clinicians to go through the specialty recognition process, I found that this additional education helped me to evolve as a clinician and thrive at my job.

Although my work at the American Institute for Stuttering in New York City was giving me more exposure to stuttering than most clinicians, earning Board recognition gave me a chance to learn even more about assessment and treatment approaches, evaluate myself and the type of treatment I provide, and assess my clients’ progress in a unique way.

After you have earned your CCCs, specialty recognition may be the only opportunity you have as a clinician to be mentored and guided. Meeting with my mentor opened discussions that guided me to assess and treat the cognitive, affective, and physical aspects of stuttering more effectively.К

Earning Board recognition definitely made me a better and more confident clinician. My treatment has changed and continues to evolve as I add to my repertoire. Maintaining my status keeps me fresh on the current research and advances in fluency assessment.

As the specialty recognition plan coordinator for the Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders, I am excited about the changes that make the process simpler and clearer without diluting the high standards of the specialty.

I highly value the BRS-FD after my name because it identifies me to new and potential clients as a clinician with peer-reviewed expertise in the area of stuttering.

—Chamonix Olsen

Audiology Specialty Gets Stage 1 Approval

The Council for Clinical Specialty Recognition (CCSR) has approved the Stage 1 application for specialty recognition submitted by the Audiology Neurophysiological Intraoperative Monitoring Board.

Specialty recognition is a means by which audiologists or speech-language pathologists with advanced knowledge, skills, and experience beyond the Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC-A or CCC-SLP) can be recognized by consumers, colleagues, referral and payer sources, and the general public.

ASHA initiated the specialty recognition program in 1995. To date, three areas of clinical practice have established specialty boards and are available for application for specialty recognition: child language, fluency disorders (see articles at left), and swallowing and swallowing disorders.

The CCSR reviews and votes on petitions to establish specialty boards in specific areas of clinical practice. The Stage 1 application is the first step in obtaining recognition of an area of practice as a specialty area and in developing mechanisms to grant specialist status to qualified persons. The approved specialty board is then responsible for reviewing applications and conferring specialist status on qualified applicants. The CCSR monitors the specialty boards’ adherence to their approved programs.

The purpose of Stage 1 of the application process is to define clearly the specialty area, define the population of consumers, and demonstrate that the petitioning group is composed of practitioners who provide service in this area. Approval of this stage grants the petitioning group exclusive rights, for 18 months, to proceed with Stage 2 of the application, which details the plan for verifying that individuals meet the specified requirements for advanced knowledge, skills, and experience to be recognized as specialists in the proposed area.

Comments from interested parties may be submitted until June 1 at ASHA’s clinical special recognition Web site. For more information about establishing a specialty board in an area of practice, visit ASHA’s certification Web site.

Georgia McMann, certification administrative director, can be reached at gmcmann@asha.org.

References
National Stuttering Association (2009). The experience of people who stutter. Full report available at www.WeStutter.org.
National Stuttering Association (2009). The experience of people who stutter. Full report available at www.WeStutter.org.×
Tellis, G., Bressler, L., & Emerick, K. (2008). An exploration of clinician views about assessment and treatment of stuttering. Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, 18(1), 16–23. [Article]
Tellis, G., Bressler, L., & Emerick, K. (2008). An exploration of clinician views about assessment and treatment of stuttering. Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, 18(1), 16–23. [Article] ×
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May 2010
Volume 15, Issue 6