The UT Stuttering Treatment and Research Program provides individualized therapy aimed at improving communication, reducing the emotional impact of stuttering, and promoting more fluent speech.
Our goal at the University of Tennessee Stuttering Treatment and Research Program is to provide the most efficient and effective treatment for children, adolescents and adults who stutter.
We recognize that stuttering is an involuntary disorder and remains that way throughout life, even though certain measures can be taken to bring it under temporary control. With the understanding of this involuntary nature, we, recognize that the journey to successfully managing stuttering may be different for each individual and should not be a journey wrought with guilt or shame.
People who stutter often have been made to feel guilty enough about their speech and the therapy we offer includes a safe, nurturing environment in which we manage stuttering to the best extent possible yet understand that there is no known cure and clients are never to be made to feel guilty about their stuttering.
Though there are some common characteristics about stuttering, we recognize that stuttering impacts everyone in a slightly different way and not everyone has the same therapeutic goals. We also recognize that for most people who stutter, the biggest challenge is being able to maintain therapeutic gains beyond the clinical environment. We take measures to help promote long-term maintenance of gains made in therapy. For that reason, we believe it is necessary to tailor our therapy to everyone’s individual long -term needs. We construct our individual therapeutic approaches considering each client’s:
- Age and history of stuttering/therapy/relapse from therapy
- Stuttering severity
- Nature of stuttering behaviors
- Desire to be fluent
- Ability to increase fluency under various conditions (e.g., altered auditory feedback, prolonged speech).
- Desire to sound natural
- Ability to monitor their speech in natural environment
- Comfort level with speaking techniques
- Ability to deal with the covert (psychological) aspects of stuttering
- Fears of sounds, people, places, situations
- Desire to speak more effectively in particular situation
- Schedule and financial resources
To best meet a client’s individual needs, we may draw therapeutic elements from a number of approaches that have been effective in the treatment of stuttering. These include:
- Altered Auditory Feedback (e.g., delayed auditory feedback and frequency altered feedback), which has proven to be effective means of quickly inducing fluency in many people who stutter.
- Prolonged speech is used intermittently or continuously as needed. Training with this basic technique can be used independently or in conjunction with altered feedback as a means of inducing fluent speech in most people who stutter.
- Other Fluency Shaping techniques – These include a range of breathing, vocal control, and articulation techniques that can be taught as needed to help promote fluent speech.
- Stuttering Management techniques – Intervention to help identify and anticipate moments of stuttering, help lessen the impact of stuttering on an individual by desensitization, and systematically decrease the severity of stuttering events.
- Counseling – Our experience with stuttering on both personal and professional levels allows us to empathize with those who stutter and help provide the best coping strategies for dealing with stuttering.
- Parental Training – To help parents of children who stutter learn sets of strategies to help their children manage their stuttering when away from the clinic.
Stuttering Treatment and Research Program
University of Tennessee
553 S. Stadium Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996-0740
Phone: (865) 974-0355