Make Room For The Stuttering

Medical Model For Stuttering

Posted on: March 31, 2013

Thanks to Google alerts, I received this update today, about the Kirkup Center for the Medical Treatment of Stuttering. The Kirkcup Center is associated with UC Irvine Health (in California.)

The center is (claims to be) the only program that treats stuttering as a medical condition, and combines medication and psychotherapy with speech therapy to reduce stuttering symptoms.

I find it interesting that this model uses the concept of symptoms to describe what we know as stuttering: frequent pauses, repetitions of words or phrases, prolongations and secondary behaviors. It’s of interest because symptoms are usually associated with a medical condition.

Most treatments for stuttering focus only on changing or modifying our speech, through traditional fluency shaping, stuttering modification, or avoidance reduction therapy.

This model suggests that stuttering can be treated as a medical condition, which for many people (in my opinion) might reduce the stigma of stuttering if it is seen as a medical problem.

A medical problem may seem more acceptable to many of us. It might not bring the same degrees of shame, guilt, fear and inadequacy that many of us now experience. With a medical model, self blame may be reduced, as we may think stuttering is not “our fault” much as cancer is not our fault.

What do you think? Is it more acceptable to you that stuttering be viewed and treated as a medical condition?

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© Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering, 2009 - 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela A Mertz and Make Room For The Stuttering with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Same protection applies to the podcasts linked to this blog, "Women Who Stutter: Our Stories" and "He Stutters: She Asks Him." Please give credit to owner/author Pamela A Mertz 2017.