Speech Therapy Assessment Tips For Fluency Disorders

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During the assessment of an individual with suspected fluency disorder, there are some things to remember to make the assessment more comprehensive and useful. Here are some of those critical points to take note of during assessment.

Benefits Of Obtaining Both Reading and Conversation Sample

It is more beneficial to obtain both reading and conversation sample from school children and adults because this would give more reliability and credibility to the samples taken.

Since stuttering varies in different situations, a reading and conversation sample would allow the clinician to see the behaviors of the person in two different tasks. A conversational speech sample is likely to have more variability, while a reading passage would likely have less variability.

Information To Assess Motivation

Through interview, a therapist can learn a lot from his client. In fact, insight about the client’s motivation could be seen by asking the following questions like ”What do you believe caused you to stutter?”, “Has you stuttering changed or caused you more problems recently?, “Why did you come in for help at the present time?”, “ Are there times or situations when you stutter more? Less? What are they?”.

Benefits Of Continuing Evaluation

No individual could be understood in an hour or two; that’s why continuing of evaluation is recommended. The clinician might overlook an important element at times and some times a vital clue will not be present in the samples of behavior taken from the limited time of the evaluation period.

Note The Difference When Assessing Feelings and Attitudes

Assessing a school-age child’s feelings and attitudes would require the clinician to establish rapport and to get to know the child much better after some time, because the clinician’s judgment is also a fair measurement in the case of school-age children.

Talking to the child and observing his behaviors would be necessary. When the clinician has known the child much better, he could administer the A-19 Scale to the child. Other methods could also be used such as “Worry Ladder” and  “Hands Down” that could be found in the workbook, The School-Age Child Who Stutters: Working Effectively with Attitudes and Emotions.

For adults and adolescents assessment of feelings and attitudes are usually done by administering tools such as, the Modified Erickson Scale of Communication Attitudes, the Stutterer’s Self-Rating of Reactions to Speech Situations, the Perceptions of Stuttering Inventory and the Locus of Control of Behavior Scale.

Remember The Role Of The IEP Team

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is appointed to a child to be the ones to consider reports by the clinician and other information. They decide if the child meets the state’s eligibility standards and if the child’s stuttering has a negative effect on his education.

If a child is eligible for services measurable, the IEP team sets goals and short-term objectives for the child. They also provide services needed by the child for improvement in the educational setting.

Goals Of Trial Therapy

Trial therapy for a school-age child is done to understand what approach might work and what might be difficult for him. This could increase the child’s motivation and positive outlook for the treatment. In the case of adults and adolescents, trial therapy is done for 3 main reasons.

First, is to get an idea of how a client would respond to different therapy approaches. Second, is to make a differential diagnosis between developmental, neurological or psychological stuttering. Third, it gives a preview to the client of what to expect during therapy sessions, in effect it would give them motivation to go on their treatment.




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