Hello – my name is Doreen Lenz Holte, and within the next several months I will be publishing “Voice Unearthed – A Parent’s Perspective on Therapy for Children Who Stutter.” Our son, who is now 14, began stuttering when he was 2 1/2. By the time he was 9, he could barely get a word out. Over the years, his struggle progressed from developmental to mild to moderate to severe. We enlisted the support of several therapists, some “certified” by the American Speech and Hearing Association, some not. Either way, his struggle grew worse and he grew increasingly silent.
We finally walked away from the type of therapy that focused on making fewer speech errors and embraced an approach that focused on keeping him talking and keeping talking fun. Today he still stutters, but with much less struggle. Today he talks…and talks…and talks. We now focus on creating opportunities for talking to be fun and less stressful, instead of using techniques designed to eliminate speech errors. This change of direction gave us our son back, and gave our son back his willingness to fully engage in his world.
Our story is about going way out of our comfort zone to find help that led to positive outcomes instead of an unrelenting negative progression this mysterious affliction imposed on our son. We began where most parents begin, in the sterile setting of a speech therapist’s office, but ended up in the not-so-sterile ranch house of a quirky divorced cowboy surrounded by horse paraphernalia accented with pictures of near-naked babes. We also found the guidance of an emotive Italian singer and Stuttering John of Howard Stern fame of great value along the way.
In addition to our journey, “Voice Unearthed” also encompasses the results of five years of research into why the type of therapy that’s offered up today is considered “best practice” and embraced by well-meaning speech therapists, even when the results, especially for children, are so dismal.
This book is primarily for parents – so they, as consumers, can be far better informed than we were when considering speech therapy for a child who is exhibiting stuttering behaviors. This book is for parents whose child is in the midst of speech therapy, struggling with attempts to use their speech techniques, and starting to shut down. This book is also for anyone who may interact with a child who stutters including relatives, school staff, pediatricians, family practice doctors, and especially speech therapists and students of speech therapy.
To be put on the distribution list for “Voice Unearthed: A Parent’s Perspective on Therapy for Children Who Stutter” or to be notified of other updates around this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!
Doreen Lenz Holte