Intense Stuttering Boot Camp

September 29, 2017By: VocoVision

Stuttering is one of the more common speech impediments that come with the harshest of social stigmas around. We expect certain special needs folks to have issues with speech, but when a seemingly “normal” person struggles to speak our society is overly critical and mean-spirited. For many, it means getting made fun of in the classroom or not taken seriously in business situations. Eastern Washington University (EWU) in Cheney, Washington has organized a boot camp for stutterers that help them with their issue.

The important thing to know about this boot camp is its focus. Rather than an intense two weeks of working to overcome stuttering, they focus on each participant accepting their speech impediment and boosting their self-esteem. With the social stigma most face, one would think that this is a counter-intuitive approach, but it is rather brilliant. When someone owns their speech differences and owns the self-confidence that their peers possess, it makes noticing that stutter less likely.

Dorvan Breitenfeldt is the mastermind behind the program. A stutterer himself, he quit school in the 8th grade because his speech impediment interfered harshly with his education and social engagements with kids his age. He spent time on the family farm before returning back to school to continue his education. He joined a speech therapy program at the University of Minnesota twice, while managing to speak fluently after just a few months.  After spending time in the military and earning more degrees, Breitenfeldt earned a doctorate and became a professor at EWU. This was in the midst of the 1960s, and it was then that he created Successful Stuttering Management Program.

Approximately 3 million people in the US suffer from stuttering, and four out of five of those stutterers are male. Currently, no one really understands why stuttering affects more men, but it is assumed that it’s a combination of neurological and psychological issues. Treating stuttering is a bit different than other speech impediments. The child who struggles with saying certain letters can, in fact, learn how to pronounce those words at some point with the use of speech therapy. Treatment of stuttering requires lifelong management that includes learning to share the impediment with others ahead of time so as to bring some sense of relief to the stutterer.

Programs like EWU’s boot camp can be pricey for the individual. EWU’s program is currently priced at $3,000 and attracts people who range from are teenaged to middle-aged. Other programs can vary in their price tag and who they cater to.

Innovative programs like this boot camp can jumpstart student success in therapy. Want to be a part of the innovation? Start a job in teletherapy – check out our current openings right here and take the first step!

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