Woman with clipboard talking to child on couch
School Therapy May 7, 2020

The Importance of Cultural Responsiveness in Stuttering Treatment

Happy National Stuttering Awareness Week! In celebration of this week we want to bring visibility to the diverse clients that we serve across settings, age groups, demographics, and cultures. Stuttering can affect all people regardless of demographic and race; however, it is important to note that depending on cultural, religious, and personal beliefs, a person’s view on stuttering can change. With that in mind, we are going to discuss some different ways to be culturally responsive as a Speech Language Pathologist with a client who stutters.

Etiology
All clinicians know that there is not one reason why people stutter. In fact, there is often not even an etiology on why individuals stutter. That being said, different cultures have varying theories on why someone might stutter. Often, the cultural belief may be attached to a negative connotation. When you are in the initial intake interview with a client or caregiver, be sure to determine their understand about stuttering and what their current belief system is. This will allow you to provide culturally responsive education, treatment, and coaching.

Disclosure to the Community
One aspect of stuttering treatment might be teaching your client how they can disclose their stutter to people they interact with daily. For individuals who experience increased stuttering when they are nervous or put in a higher-pressure situation, this can help alleviate the pressure by increasing the communication partner’s understanding. Although this may make sense clinically, some clients and caregivers may hold the belief that it should not be disclosed to anyone else—not even close relatives. In this case, be sure to gain a deeper understanding of their belief system so you can level with them. Although you may reach open disclosure someday, there may be additional benchmarks to hit before your client feels comfortable getting there.

Treatment
Sometimes, depending on how the child’s family views stuttering and therapy services, deciding even when to start treatment can be a culturally responsive decision. Even if a child does need treatment, they might have a delayed start if the family does not want to acknowledge the stutter. Once treatment does begin, recognize that the child or young adult may have received misinformation on how to increase their fluency. By finding out as much information as you can about their thoughts, experiences, and emotions towards stuttering, you can shape the process you need to follow in treatment.

In short, stuttering can be a fascinating but challenging diagnosis to treat. Always start treatment with an exploratory mindset that allows you to be flexible, culturally responsive, and respectful to the client’s and caregiver’s points of view. By doing so, you can have increased treatment outcomes and carry over no matter the background of your client!

By Alyssa Hunter MA, CCC-SLP

Contact Us!

We're here to help.

Learn More About Allied Careers

* Indicates Required Fields

 

By clicking "SUBMIT" I agree to receive emails, automated text messages and phone calls (including calls that contain prerecorded content) from and on behalf of {{site_name}}, its parent, AMN Healthcare, and affiliates. I understand these messages will be to the email or phone number provided, and will be about employment opportunities, positions in which I’ve been placed, and my employment with AMN companies. See privacy policy or cookie policy for more details.

Allied Industry News

Where Allied travelers go for allied news and information, compiled by industry experts at Med Travelers.

infograph for top therapy trends in 2022

TRAVEL THERAPY

Top Trends in Allied Therapy Travel in 2022

Allied therapy travelers can expect plentiful job opportunities in 2022, among other travel therapy trends. See what’s changing in the months ahead.

Read Article
Top 10 Apps for Travel Therapists

ALLIED TRAVEL

Top 10 Apps for Travel Therapists

There are multiple mobile apps and websites available to assist travel therapists with everything from scanning, to driving directions, accommodations, and hiking.  Here’s a run-down of our favorite free or low-cost apps for busy travel medical professionals.

Read Article

ALLIED NEWS

The 12 Best Jobs in Health Care for 2022

Is your allied health job ranked among the Best Health Care Jobs? U.S. News’ 2022 list highlights the top health care professions, with several changes this year.

Read Article