Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Sandra Merlo as guest blogger (II)

But then, my English teacher realized I needed help and, for one year, he constantly talked about my qualities and my future in our classes. So when I was 15, I decided to be a SLP, because I desperately needed to understand the world I was living in.

I was admited at University of São Paulo, one of the best universities in Brazil. For the first time in my life, I had a positive consequence from my stuttering: my personal experiences with stuttering provided me with a great background to understand scientific knowledge in my years of SLP School (1997-2001). Scientific knowledge quickly made sense. At the same time, I did speech and psychological therapies.

Afterwards, I was admited to State University of Campinas, also one of the best universities in Brazil. I got a Master’s Degree of Linguistics (2003-2006), studying periodic cycles of hesitation phenomena in non-stuttering subjects. At this moment, I am attending a Doctoral Degree of Linguistics at the same university and I am studying periodic cycles of pause and the relation between hesitation phenomena and pause in non-stuttering subjects.

I have also worked at the clinical division of a SLP company, giving assistance just to patients with stuttering. My patients displayed two major characteristics: they usually needed differential diagnosis (especially regarding to cluttering, motor and vocal tics, dystonia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit hiperactivity disorder) and they have usually done several previous therapies without success.

Last year, I got involved in Brazilian Fluency Institute, a non-profit association devoted to fluency and its disorders (stuttering, tachylalia and cluttering). Some of our actions include: the organization of the Brazilian campaign of International Stuttering Awareness Day, a great participation in the media to talk about stuttering, information and advice about fluency and its disorders, legal advices about stuttering and supervision on research.

So, now, after SLP School, Linguistics School, clinical practice and Brazilian Fluency Institute, I think I have more reasonable answers for my childhood wrong lessons.

(To be continued…)


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