What is it about?

Resisting ableist practices in stuttering therapy can seem daunting. We provide public-school-based case studies to highlight what to do - and what not to do - when working with school-age students who stutter. Collaborative frameworks to educate staff and administrators are included.

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Why is it important?

Calls for neurodiversity-informed practices are ringing throughout the SLP profession. Outdated goals of "fluent speech" for students who stutter are now viewed as ableist. Many SLPs feel ill-equipped to understand their new roles, and to provide updated assessment, goals, and therapy activities. Our case studies provide a roadmap for school-based SLP to navigate school structures while empowering students who stutter to locate allies, educate others, and be authentically themselves at school and beyond.


This article brought together co-authors with varied perspectives and experiences in the stuttering and speech-pathology communities. Together, we took a hard look at the past, present, and (hopefully better) future of stuttering therapy in the public schools. It was challenging to say the least, but we hope our collaboration helps many school SLPs know that they are not alone in their challenges, and that no matter how they were trained, or what types of therapy they have provided in the past, they are caring professionals who have unique opportunities to change the course of students lives.

Nina Reardon Reeves

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Ableism to Empowerment: Navigating School Structures When Working With Students Who Stutter, Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2023, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA),
DOI: 10.1044/2022_lshss-22-00026.
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