Stuttering therapy is any of the various treatment methods that attempt to reduce stuttering to some degree in an individual. Stuttering can be a challenge to treat because there is a lack of evidence-based consensus about therapy. Some believe that there is no cure for the condition, and experts have argued that the preferred treatment outcome is one that involves satisfaction on the part of the stutterer, with both his communicative performance and the therapy process.
In general, stuttering therapy aims to reduce stuttering to some degree in an individual, although there is disagreement about acceptable treatment outcomes from stuttering therapy. Some believe the only acceptable therapy outcome is a significant reduction in or total elimination of stuttering, others believe that speech which contains some stuttering, as long as the stuttering has become less tense and effortful, is just as acceptable.
In 1997, experts argued that in the case of a stutterer seeking professional treatment from a clinician, the “preferred treatment outcome” is that the stutterer will demonstrate feelings, behaviors, and thinking that lead to improved communicative performance and satisfaction with the therapy process. They argued that the criteria for a treatment to be viewed as successful includes the stutterer being satisfied with her therapy program and its outcome, feeling that she has an increased ability to communicate effectively, feeling more comfortable as a speaker, and believing that she is better able to reach her social, educational and vocational goals.
There are many different approaches to stuttering therapy. While some believe that there is no cure for the condition, stuttering can be reduced and even eliminated with appropriate timely intervention, and various therapy methods have reduced stuttering in individuals to some degree. In any case, for all persons who stutter, the successfulness of speech therapy depends on the combination of education, training, and individualized treatment provided.
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