Friday, November 13, 2009

Constructive meeting

Here is an update of my "battle" for people who stutter in Luxembourg. On Wednesday, I met up with the director of the special school dedicated to speech and language impairments, and one of his senior therapists, a special school teacher with a PhD in psychology. We had a constructive discussion after clarification of a few issues like the bad article, no clarification to the article, and more. We talked about causes and treatment of stuttering. To my "horror" and surprise, they are doing Lidcombe with the kids in Luxembourg. It seems to be everywhere nowadays. ;-) Then they asked me about my opinion, and I said that I have no idea whether it will help or not. Like any therapy, it could well modulate the severity if done well by therapist and by parents, and well received by the child. But there is no evidence that it will get rid of stuttering completely or does a better job than other treatments. They asked me what I would recommend, and I said that I do not know and that there is no clear evidence, but that I would do the therapy with the best therapist. I also said that we now know that intervention at the very least does not harm kids. We also talked about the causes of stuttering and whether structural changes are a consequence or the effect of stuttering. We discussed a few measures to improve treatment offers in Luxembourg: updating information leaflets, workshop on early intervention treatments, and organising day workshop for kids (and parents) who stutter.

So in general, a very constructive meeting. Of course, as always, you should watch the actions and not the words. And in a few months will see whether there are some positive changes.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like an educational talk you had with the people there. Education of the professionals is a good start!

I disagree with you Tom re: "that we know that intervention at the very least does not harm kids." I don't think this is a "for all" truism. In attending self help groups like the NSA and FRIENDS, I have heard many parents of children share their child's speech became worse after "intervention".

I believe for many parents of kids who stutter, that is the REASON they search out self help groups for themselves and their children.

Tom Weidig said...

OK. You have a point. But would these kid's speech would not have been worse anyway? Kids are always exposed to harsh realities.