speech and hearing disorders

Geoff was a teenage boy who was first seen at the speech and hearing clinic on his 13th birthday. His parents explained, during an initial interview, that Geoff had begun stuttering when he was around 3 years old. They further explained that the stuttering would come and go, and he would sometimes have fluent periods that lasted 2 months. Although the parents were concerned about Geoff’s stuttering behaviors, they thought that he would outgrow the stuttering. This belief was reinforced by his long periods of fluency. An SLP evaluated Geoff. Formal tests of stuttering placed him as a severe stutterer, most of his stuttering behaviors taking the form of long sound prolongations. Geoff told the SLP that his grades in school were falling because he would not speak in class and that he didn’t like to interact with his classmates because they “always make fun of the way I talk.” He also reported that there were certain words that he could not say without stuttering severely. The SLP recommended that Geoff enroll in treatment twice a week for a trial period of 6 months. The parents and Geoff agreed. He made good progress during this trial period and stayed in treatment for an additional 4 months. At the end of 10 months of treatment, he was dismissed, exhibiting good control over his stuttering. Two months later, he and his mother came back to the clinic for a reevaluation of his fluency skills. During the reevaluation, Geoff told the SLP that he was happy with his new speech because he could say any word he wanted without stuttering. He told the SLP that he loved to go to McDonald’s or Burger King to eat cheeseburgers and french fries. But before treatment, if he had to place his own order, he wouldn’t order the french fries because he knew he would stutter on the word “french.” He went without the fries more times than he cared to recall. Nowadays, Geoff is enjoying his cheeseburgers with the french fries that he orders himself. According to Geoff, that makes him the “happiest kid on the planet.”

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