About 4 years ago I was treating a wonderful nine year old girl I will call Dori. (not her real name). Dori was discharged from speech therapy in school because her SLP said she hadn't noticed any dysfluencies in the speech room. Dori was thrilled to not be pulled out of class anymore for speech therapy. Her parents brought her to me because she was stuttering significantly at home. Dori later admitted that she became a pro at hiding her stuttering in speech in school. She was bright and could easily subsitute words.
Dori was approximately 33% dysfluent in my speech sessions (this was an average over 5 sessions).
She presented with whole word repetitions, part word repeitions and laryngeal blocks. She also displayed lip tremors. At the end of 4 months, Dori's fluency had increased dramatically as did her eye contact and communication skills (we worked on these too). She was giving oral presentations in front of the class and tried out for the school play. One day, Dori asked me why she still had to come to speech therapy . She was adorable and trying not to hurt my feelings. She explained that she enjoyed our sessions and the fact they were fun, but she was happy how she spoke. She said her friends didn't care that she stuttered and she spoke all the time. In fact, her teacher called her parents reporting that she was disrupting the class by talking to her friends often. (This was actually music to all of our ears). I brought her parents in for the next session to talk about progress and whether she should continue. Dori's parents were torn. They thought she had progressed and was doing great, but they could not let go of the dream of total fluency. I think we resolved this conflict in a positive and healthyy way. This blog post will be continued at week's end, but I would love to hear how other parents, grad students or speech paths. have resolved this issue. What do we do as professionals when a family wants perfect fluency and the child is happy with the progress made? Please share your thoughts with me. tks Lori