CHAPTER 15

GUIDELINES FOR SELECTING A TREATMENT PROGRAM

Because of the time required to train a therapist, it is not surprising that a number of centers professing to use an Air Flow technique do not. Here are some guidelines to use when selecting a program. First, ask whether a member of the staff has been certified by the National Center for Stuttering as an Air Flow Therapist. Second, ask to speak to patients who have been through the program to determine what their results have been. Third, ask whether or not the program provides a clearly delineated long-term follow-up support system. Fourth, take a dim view of any program that purports to effect permanent changes in a few weeks; it is absolutely unrealistic to expect that a lifelong problem will be changed so quickly. Fifth, determine whether the program considers the importance of base-level stress and its variability. And last, if any doubt exists about the competence of the program, call the Center for an opinion.

There are so many different clinicians employing such a variety of approaches that it is often difficult to properly evaluate them all. But some definite conclusions can be drawn. Any program, if it is good, must produce an initial fluency quickly. If the technique does not accomplish this, the program should be discontinued. Similarly, stutterers should avoid the clinician who does not specialize in stuttering but instead treats a variety of speech or psychological problems. Stuttering is a specialized area, and its treatment is best left to those with extensive clinical experience. Lastly, no therapy be pursued if the clinician can offer no numerical probability of likely eventual success. 


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