From the comforts of a big city, it might not seem like there’s a shortage of speech pathologists with decent stuttering assessment and therapy experience. But there is.
Too often, simple things have stopped people who stutter from getting the help they need, when they need it. Not living in a city. Not having a car or access to public transport. Juggling multiple kids. Working 9 to 5 (or longer) and not having time to get out of the office. Physical disabilities and impairments. Social anxiety or cultural concerns about leaving the house and coming into a clinic. Given the evidence about the importance of early intervention for pre-schoolers, and some of the serious possible long-term effects of unmanaged stuttering on work, life and health outcomes, current access to services for many people who stutter is just not good enough.
Hey! It’s 2016. Technology now exists to break down some of these barriers. And we’ve decided to use it to help people who stutter to get therapy.
At Banter Speech & Language, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of My Online Stuttering Clinic. It’s an online stuttering assessment and therapy service offered by Banter Speech & Language to existing and new clients – both children and adults – who stutter or might be stuttering.
Don’t get us wrong. Despite its promise and growing evidence base, we know there are still some barriers to delivering quality speech therapy online. For example:
- Medicare and private health insurance rebates are not yet available for clients for speech pathology services delivered online. We hope that changes soon – especially for clients living in rural and remote places and for clients who can’t afford private therapy or access speech pathology for other reasons. (Side note: This is one reason we’ll soon be announcing a pro-bono program – watch this space.)
- The technology isn’t perfect. Sometimes, videos freeze, or the picture or sound drops out. Blame it on the NBN, the weather, or too many kids playing Minecraft, but we’ll do our best to keep things simple and to work around glitches and gremlins if and when they crop up – even if it means going old school and picking up a phone from time-to-time!
As technology improves, we’ll keep working hard to provide people who stutter with a quality tele-health service.
Evidence-based, quality service
At Banter Speech & Language, we only provide evidence-based stuttering therapies. We offer a range of treatments, including the Lidcombe Program and Westmead Program for children who stutter, Time Out, Video Self-Modelling and the Camperdown Program – a form of prolonged speech treatment, for adults who stutter. If you stutter, we’re happy to take you through your treatment options, the evidence for and against each, and our recommendations. We’re also happy to give you evidence-based tips to help manage stuttering, e.g. for school or work. That’s why we spend so much time reading the latest research and will keep doing so.
We’re on top of the growing research base supporting online stuttering therapy, especially that published by the Australian Stuttering Research Centre (e.g. Onslow et al., 2014 and Carey et al., 2012). We’re also up-to-date on developments in tele-health and speech pathology (e.g. Hines et al., 2015, Armfield et al., 2015, Keck & Doarn, 2014, and Edwards et al., 2012) and video-based health care services, generally (e.g. Bryan, 2015).
So if you stutter and want help, but can’t make it in to the clinic, please get in touch with us to discuss online stuttering therapy options.
In the meantime, feel free to take a look at our free articles summarising some of the latest research about stuttering.
- The Lidcombe Program for children who stutter
- Lidcombe Program Stuttering Activities: Volume 2 (10 low-prep printable activities for face-to-face and Skype therapy)
- The Westmead Program for children who stutter
- My child stutters. Is it because he’s shy? sensitive? hyper?
- My pre-schooler stutters and has problems with speech sounds: which one should I treat first?
- My school-age child stutters. What should I do?
- Why does the Lidcombe Program work: a case of “words will never hurt me”?
- The Camperdown Program for adults who stutter
- Not the naughty corner: time-out – a stuttering treatment for children and adults
- Does anxiety cause stuttering?
- Controlling stuttering: what it feels like in the real world
- Doing two things at once: empowering adults who stutter to make informed choices about their fluency
- Stuttering relapse – Video Self-Modelling versus Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.
David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).