Practical Thoughts Blog

Stop using the word "fluency" when talking about "stuttering"

Stop using the word "fluency" when talking about "stuttering"

You asked for this!

Recently we posted a series of videos on our Instagram (IGTV) and Facebook feeds that dealt with the ongoing discussion of the shift from focusing on fluency to focusing on communication when working with those who stutter.  Our followers and colleagues asked us to provide shareable summaries of this popular series. We are happy to oblige!

We hope you enjoy and SHARE this vlog link with many of your colleagues (and others) who need to hear this message.

As speech-language pathologists, we all know that the words we use matter. For years, many of us were taught that we should use the word “fluency” and avoid the word “stuttering” when talking about people who stutter. Now, we are learning that this has had some unintended negative consequences that are actually harmful for people who stutter!

Is it time to drop the “f” word? The short answer is YES! In this series of 4 provocative vlog posts, Christopher Constantino, Seth Tichenor, J. Scott Yaruss, and Nina Reeves highlight some of the problems with our field's use of the word “fluency" when referring to people who stutter. We explain how the word fluency limits the experiences of those who stutter and leads to misunderstandings about the appropriate goals of therapy. Go ahead, say “stutter” - it’s okay! Watch the vlogs to understand why.

First: "Why should we reconsider the term "fluency" when we are working with those who stutter?" Dr. Seth Tichenor, SLP, researcher, person who stutters, and all around great guy from Michigan State University shared his perspectives of using (and misusing and overusing) the term "fluency" in our stuttering therapy goals, plans, and interventions.

Second: Dr. Christopher Constantino continued the paradigm-shifting discussion of rethinking our use of the term "fluency" is stuttering therapy. This is thought provoking to say the least!

 

Third: STR's own Dr. Scott Yaruss added perspectives to the discussion about how we talk about stuttering as well as how we talk about and to people who stutter. 

Finally: STR's Nina Reeves provided a summary of the series as well as some clinical perspectives that have changed her work with children who stutter across her decades of practice.