Chapter 14 • Treatment of Older Preschool Children: Beginning Stuttering

Figure 14.4 Child catches clinician’s tense stutter, clinician rewards child, then clinician changes stutter to an easier one.

control over something that has been frustrating and some times even frightening. Take, for example, the child who stutters primarily in a repetitive fashion. e clinician might say, “Let’s play a game of saying some sounds over and over and see how many times we can say them. I bet I can say a whole bunch of times! Watch this. Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba! Can you do it that many times?” Or it can begin by making sounds for animals, puppets, or other toys: “Hey, this is a zebragella! It goes ‘llllllla! lllllla!’ (using prolongations). en, it jumps around like this (clini cian jumps around) and chews the carpet” (clinician pretends to chew the carpet). e clinician and child can keep incorporating such play into their routine as long as the child nds it fun and the cli nician can free themselves to enjoy uninhibited play. From playing with repeated or prolonged sounds, the clinician can build a bridge to playing with repeated or prolonged sounds in conversation and, in time, to the child’s actual stutters.

One of my former students read what I had written about this sort of play with stuttering in an early edition of this text book and uses it very successfully with kids, to desensitize them to the fear of stuttering and help them change what they do when they stutter—going from tense to loose stutters. I describe her work and illustrate it in Chapter 15, on therapy for intermediate stuttering in school-age children. e Child Produces Intentional Stutters A er the child is able to catch the clinician’s stutters and appears comfortable doing it, the clinician should begin looking for opportunities to ask the child to produce a stutter intentionally. is can be done most easily by pretending to have trouble producing slow, loose stutters. For instance, the clinician might say, “I can’t seem to make this one slow and loose. Can you show me how to do it?” Again, this should be done intermittently and casually mixed in with other activi ties that are fun for the child.

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