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Successful Speech Therapy Outcomes at JHAH

In 2021, Nora, a ten-year-old girl, was referred to the Speech Therapy clinic at JHAH for speech assessment. Her parents shared that Nora finds difficulty speaking, takes a long time to produce one word, and prefers to be silent most of the time. Before being referred to the Speech Therapy clinic at JHAH, Nora had seen a clinician at another hospital for almost two years with no improvement. She refused to go to her weekly speech therapy sessions. She was diagnosed with selective mutism by a physician who did not specialize in Speech and Language disorders.

On her first visit to the JHAH Speech Therapy clinic, she was assessed by Nasser Alqahtani, a JHAH Speech Therapist. After a deep case history analysis and a comprehensive assessment, he identified that Nora does not have selective mutism but profound silent blocks. Nasser began treatment by first educating Nora and her parents about stuttering.

After her first session, Nora felt a noticeable difference in her speech and expressed interest in continuing her therapy. After just 12 weekly sessions, Nora spoke with three words per sentence without noticeable stuttering.

In 2022, the Speech-Language Pathology clinic at JHAH received up to 59 new cases diagnosed with fluency disorders and referred for speech therapy and management. Since 2021, JHAH has treated more than 67 patients with fluency disorders and provided up to six-month-long stuttering therapeutic programs.  

Fluency treatment at JHAH follows state-of-the-art guidelines and highly effective treatment approaches that can be provided in two primary modalities: individual and/or group therapy sessions. Our treatment takes into consideration the preferences of the patient and family. At JHAH, our speech therapists follow internationally recognized programs such as Lidcombe, Fluency Plus program, etc.

Visit a Speech Pathologist to evaluate your child's stuttering; early intervention will help your child more. Studies suggest that early intervention significantly reduces disfluencies in children who stutter in short-term and long-term outcomes.

If your child is six years old or below, keep your child unaware of their stuttering by:

  • Speaking with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently
  • Reducing the number of questions, you ask your child and increase the comments
  • Using your facial expressions and body language to convey to your child that you are listening to what they are saying and not how they are talking
  • Setting aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can give your undivided attention to your child. This quiet, calm time can be a confidence-builder for younger children
  • Helping all members of the family learn to take turns talking and listening. Children, especially those who stutter, find talking much easier when there are few interruptions
  • Not forcing your child to talk in front of people
  • Making sure no one makes fun of your child's speech
  • Not asking your child to take a breath or stop and repeat words
  • Not completing your child's sentence when they stop; give them time and attention

Be a good example for your child with your slow, relaxed speech, which will be far more effective than any criticism or advice such as "slow down" or "try it again slowly.

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