Dismissal Criteria for School-Age Children Who Stutter: When Is Enough Enough? One Opinion… One of the challenges faced by speech-language pathologists working in school settings is determining when to dismiss children who stutter from therapy. In many districts, clinicians are required to establish dismissal criteria right at the outset of therapy, as part of the IEP process. Unfortunately, clinicians often find that ... Article
Article  |   April 01, 2005
Dismissal Criteria for School-Age Children Who Stutter: When Is Enough Enough? One Opinion…
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. Scott Yaruss
    University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Articles
Article   |   April 01, 2005
Dismissal Criteria for School-Age Children Who Stutter: When Is Enough Enough? One Opinion…
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, April 2005, Vol. 15, 9-11. doi:10.1044/ffd15.1.9
SIG 4 Perspectives on Fluency and Fluency Disorders, April 2005, Vol. 15, 9-11. doi:10.1044/ffd15.1.9
One of the challenges faced by speech-language pathologists working in school settings is determining when to dismiss children who stutter from therapy. In many districts, clinicians are required to establish dismissal criteria right at the outset of therapy, as part of the IEP process. Unfortunately, clinicians often find that children who stutter end up continuing in therapy year after year after year, and sometimes, clinicians feel they can never get kids who stutter off their caseloads! So, the question becomes, when is a child ready for dismissal from therapy?
Like all things in our field, there is disagreement about dismissal criteria. Should a child remain in therapy until he has reached “normal” fluency? Is there a certain criterion level of acceptable fluency he must reach before dismissal? Is it okay to dismiss a child from therapy while he is still stuttering?What if he stutters severely? Can treatment be viewed as successful if the child continues to stutter in some (or even many) situations? What if the child has no observable negative impact from his stuttering and just stutters when he speaks? On the other hand, what if the child isn’t making any progress and doesn’t want to be in therapy any more? Is it okay to give him a break from therapy, knowing that he will pick up with more therapy later on when he is ready? What would the parents say about that? (And what do we say back to them?)
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