Qualitative Investigation of the Speech-Language Therapy Experiences of Individuals Who Covertly Stutter
Individuals who covertly stutter have a unique experience of stuttering that involves concealing the core behaviors of stuttering (e.g., repetitions, prolongations, and blocks). From the listener’s perspective, covert stuttering results in minimum typical, overt stuttering behaviors. However, from the speaker’s perspective, covert stuttering often increases the cognitive and emotional impact of stuttering. This study explores the speech-language therapy experiences of individuals who covertly stutter in order to improve treatment recommendations and best practice.
This investigation is a qualitative analysis of individuals’ speech-language therapy experiences as persons who covertly stutter. Real-time video interviews were conducted with the use of open-ended phenomenological interview questions. Interviews were transcribed and thematic analysis of interview transcripts was conducted to investigate the speech-language therapy experiences of the participants.
The participants indicated that stuttering therapy was most impactful when it included explicit goals and activities, personalized selection of therapy techniques or strategies beyond fluency techniques, encouraged self-education, and educated those in the person’s environment.
The evidence suggests individualized therapy based on each client’s unique manifestation of covert stuttering is beneficial; while, fluency-focused stuttering therapy is often incongruent with the needs of persons who covertly stutter. Therapeutic implications and recommendations for speech-language pathologists are discussed.
Douglass, J. E., Constantino, C., Alvarado, J., Verrastro, K., & Smith, K. (2019). Qualitative investigation of the speech-language therapy experiences of individuals who covertly stutter. Journal of Fluency Disorders, Available online 20 August. Doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2019.105713
Journal of Fluency Disorders