Categories for Preschool Stuttering


Hello I stutter, Do you hear me? My name is Lori..The non traditional speech pathologist…

Stuttering? Who understands how I speak? How loud do I have to scream to be heard?  I remember being 5 and told I should do a play for my parents, being 8 and doing art projects, being 15 and filling out questionnaires and then age 22 filling out the stuttering instruments for assessment.  I have no memory of who these people were but I do remember feeling invisible. No child or adult should do it this way. Did anyone hear me? Could they stop  writing notes? Does anyone know how to help me?  Aren’t you a speech pathologist? Stop reading. I am a person. Will anyone ask about me, my hobbies, my life? The pain is still there. I became a speech pathologist. Not only did I learn how to speak more fluently with confidence, I learned to help most people I work with who stutter. Never doubt how much […]


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How to accurately conduct a stuttering assessment in children:

Stuttering is complex and a challenge to assess.  Many speech pathologists have not met anyone who stutters and barely learned about it in graduate school.  Stuttering involves uncovering the many layers of emotions as well. For the speech-language pathologists it is not too late to learn. What do we do first? Case History: We need to gather background information. Is there history of stuttering in family? Any medical information? How old was the patient when stuttering started? Has stuttering increased over time? Any prior therapy? Did it help? Is stuttering affecting their life? Any co-morbid diagnoses or medication taken? How? Parent Report: Talk to the parent. Gather a video or audio sample from home.  Talk to the teacher and ask if the child is talking in class. This is sometimes hard to gauge as not all children participate in school. Assess Fluency and Stuttering: The Stuttering Severity Instrument (SSI-4) provides […]


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Stuttering is fight or flight… We need to change our inner voice….

Put on those boxing gloves.  Time to push that word out at any cost and fight to the end.  I hear the words in my head.  Just let me push out that word.   I want to win and fight. Ultimately I lost more times than not. Many times I avoided eye contact, put my head down in shame and avoided. It is time to flee.  This lead to years of trying to hide my precious thoughts and not be heard. Stuttering therapy without un peeling the emotional  is not productive.  Stuttering therapy for older children and adults must address fight or flight. Stuttering therapy must unite our childhood inner voice to the message we want to produce. What is fight or flight? “The fight-or-flight response (also called hyper arousal or the acute stress response) is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” […]


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Is Stuttering a Disability?

Is Stuttering a Disability? Stuttering is legally identified as a speech disability in many countries around the world. But is it really? When the flow of speech is interrupted by involuntary repetitions, silent pauses, and prolongations, you may be classified as having concerns with stuttering. Even as adults, most people struggle to find resolutions to stop stuttering. It’s important to identify stuttering early to minimize developing social anxiety and negative attitudes toward communication. It is estimated that about 1% of the adult population gets diagnosed with this speech disorder. In the US alone, there are approximately three million people who have concerns with stuttering and occurs mostly amongst males versus females. Neurogenic and Psychogenic stuttering is mostly found in adults. While Neurogenic stuttering is caused due to strokes or head injury, Psychogenic stuttering can be an aftermath of extreme psychological stress. Is disability the right word? As per the Americans […]


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Adult Stuttering -What is Prolonged Speech?

Adult Stuttering-What is Prolonged Speech? Most people want to stop stuttering.  In fact we pray to stop stuttering.  I am an adult who stuttered severely so I get it.  Did you know continuous movement and prolonged speech improve fluency?  If you say “III waaannt to eaaaat piiiza” you might be fluent with help but sound robotic. That is the problem. It is unnatural and hard to maintain. None of us want to be boring speakers and put others to sleep. We want to be heard and be “normal” speakers. We all want to learn how to stop stuttering. We all want to end tomorrow. When I was stuttering severely I took fluency programs that taught me how to talk more fluently and slow down to 2 seconds per syllable. I did this for 7 hours a day and then I went to one second.  I stopped at .5 seconds per […]


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Lori Melnitsky-Journey with Stuttering

Lori Melnitsky by Beverly Fortune on September 2, 2009 Lori Melnitsky has been stuttering since she was four years old. It was a long journey for her to get to where she is today: one of the rare stutterers to have recovered from a severe stuttering disorder that has gone on to become a successful fluency expert and speech pathologist in a private practice. “Back then it wasn’t talked about,” Lori says. “It was a very hidden topic and you were embarrassed by it. There was a tremendous amount of shame. I was never part of anything in school,” she says. “I went to speech therapy but didn’t speak. [My stutter] became worse and I couldn’t say my name, [when I tried] my head would jerk back.” “I don’t think many people know what [stuttering] is,” Lori explains. “It’s a communication disorder that is characterized by the disruption of the normal flow of […]


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What causes stuttering?

What Causes Stuttering?   (This was adapted from the Stuttering Foundation of America) Stuttering Facts and Information What is stuttering? Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering is also referred to as stammering. What causes stuttering? There are four factors most likely to contribute to the development of stuttering: genetics (approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who does also); child development (children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter); neurophysiology (recent neurological research has shown that people who stutter process speech and language slightly differently than those who do not stutter); and family dynamics (high expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can contribute to stuttering). […]


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Help your child who stutters in a pandemic…

——News alert… I am upset and I cannot hide this… Going to the ER for stuttering.??What???? I cannot stress this enough, especially now…. if your child is stuttering do not wait!!!! ….I can only speak for over 25 years of therapy, It is the same doing online therapy for children who stutter as if they are in person. If anything it increases talking and helps parent help their children. Most schools do not have stuttering specialists on staff nor provide summer services. Teens and adults are relieved when I talk with them to learn strategies to speak more fluently. Stuttering can be cyclical in nature but if it is continuing then please reach out. I am getting too many calls of people waiting for schools in September. I have gotten unusual calls of worried parents who were told to bring their children as young as 4 to bring their kids […]


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How can you help your child who stutters over telehealth…

During these stressful times stuttering can increase. Even in a pandemic stuttering can be helped.   Despite homework and chaos, children deserve to communicate. If your child is stuttering several things can be done to get them help. These include: Reduce questions…comment more.. Allow more time to speak..pause before answering Do not interrupt Do not allow them to interrupt you Help them phrase out your words… Positive praise Take turns Keep good eye contact If you are interested in our Lidcombe Plus parent program please email Lori@allislandspeech.com www.allislandspeech.com  


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Masks-The impact on communication, speech and hearing…It will be huge..

The real and new truth is this.. We will all have to have more patient now. Of course wearing masks is essential for our health but it does create communication and hearing issues. It has become our new normal. I just came back from the supermarket, which has been a stressful experience for all. I While ordering items from the deli counter I realized people were repeating items three times due to the fact that it is harder to project or see lips. People who are are hearing impaired often read lips. Well, those days are gone. People who stutter need airflow to talk and it is harder to breathe in masks. Someone who suffered a stroke might get frustrated if not understood. People have asthma, kids have oral motor issues or apraxia. The list goes on and on. It is also a little scary not recognizing people. With that […]


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