Therapy Outcomes

Within the field of speech-language pathology and even among those who stutter, there is disagreement about acceptable treatment outcomes from stuttering therapy. Some believe the only acceptable therapy outcome is a significant reduction in or total elimination of stuttering. Others believe that speech which contains some stuttering, as long as the stuttering has become less tense and effortful, is just as acceptable.

Yet others believe that the most important therapy outcome is the increased confidence a person has in his or her ability to talk, whether or not stuttering continues to be present. Defining an acceptable and realistic therapy outcome for any person who stutters can depend on many factors, including age at the time therapy begins, length of time the person has been living with stuttering, different environmental demands for speech, and the person's or family's own goals for talking.

The desirable therapy outcomes for any client should be targeted considering these factors, the flexibility you have in selecting a treatment approach that will best fit the client's goals, and the amount of time and energy you and the client expect to devote to a therapy program. Regardless of the specific goals chosen for any client, stuttering therapy should always result in the client being able to speak in a way that is more efficient, less effortful, and with confidence.