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Idaho State University

Collaborative Idaho State University clinic changes lives for persons who stutter

By Lee Ann Hancock, KDHS Marketing Director | August 8, 2019

“I expected to be the same after this clinic. That’s not what I wanted, and that’s not what I got, and that’s good.” ~ Tanner, Stuttering Clinic participant

Collaborative Idaho State University clinic changes lives for persons who stutter
From left, standing: Taylor Narayanan, ISU grad student; Michael Green and Tanner Gilkeson, clinic clients; and ISU grad students Kyle McIntosh and Cameron Mutchler. Front, Luis Rodriguez, ISU Ph.D. student, and ISU professors Dan Hudock and Chad Yates.

POCATELLO - Now in its sixth year, a two-week intensive clinic hosted by Idaho State University faculty from multiple disciplines and departments has made a positive impact in the lives of more than 50 people who stutter.

This year, seven clients traveled to Pocatello to participate in the Northwest Center for Fluency Disorders Interprofessional Intensive Stuttering Clinic. The clients this year, who are mostly male, traveled from Seattle, Alabama, Indiana, Florida and New Zealand, and range in age from 17 to 34.

Faculty there hope to continue sharing what they’ve learned across the country, and across the globe, in an effort to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges and mental health issues persons who stutter often experience in their daily lives.

Assistant Professor of Communications Sciences Dan Hudock and Counseling Associate Professor Chad Yates have highlighted their own personal acceptance of stuttering as the critical missing link most speech language therapy programs overlook. Now, along with the camp’s other clinicians, they have made it their mission to change the way stuttering treatment is addressed.

Stuttering is a communicative disorder that affects approximately 4% of the U.S. population and is more commonly present in males than in females.

One of the goals at the intensive clinic is to allow clients a safe place to explore their own internal thoughts and feelings about stuttering. Combining forces between health disciplines provides the clients in-person expertise by bringing professionals in the fields of speech language pathology, counseling and clinical psychology into the same treatment room. This groundbreaking method has provensssssssss to be successful, with clients frequently reporting not only an improved fluency rate, but also overall increased rates of confidence, happiness and wellbeing. Providing group counseling and group speech language therapy treatment also allows clients to see others who stutter, putting into perspective their own experiences.

The clinic’s graduation ceremony set this Saturday is often a very touching and moving event where the clients speak about meaningful experiences that they’ve encountered during the clinic and the group celebrates the many successes had by all. 

Idaho State University, a Carnegie-classified doctoral high research activity university and teaching institution founded in 1901, attracts students from around the world to its Idaho campuses. At the main campus in Pocatello, and at locations in Meridian, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls, ISU has nine Colleges, a Graduate School and a Division of Health Sciences that together offer more than 250 certificate and degree programs. More than 12,000 students attend ISU. Idaho State University is the state's designated lead institution in health professions.

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