Worth Repeating: Overheard: Bilingual and Disfluent: A Unique Treatment Challenge
[Source: ASHA Leader]
In November 2012, bilingual fluency expert Garth Foote chatted with participants during an ASHA online conference on fluency. The Leader was listening.
Bahaa Sudqui Moh’d Abdeljawad: In your lecture, I understood that we treat the language that bothers the client. What if the client says, “I want stuttering to fade out of my speech,” or we have a child who cannot be asked to choose? Which language do we start with? And what is the “taboo” of stuttering?
Garth Foote: If the client wants stuttering to fade from their speech entirely, that’s far enough. However, for many, the problem is primarily in one language. Remember, languages are often specifically associated to certain social settings. My talk was more for teens and adults than children. But I would begin similarly, by at least asking the child where they are experiencing the most trouble. For many—maybe most—stuttering can be considered a taboo, something that is not okay to talk about openly, but rather to be hidden.
Diane Paul: I’ve always heard that one way to diagnose stuttering versus difficulty learning a language is that stuttering occurs in both languages. But you indicated that some bilingual speakers stutter only in one language. Can you comment on this, please?
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