London Speech Therapy Stammering Centre
The London Speech Therapy Stammering Centre is a group of Speech & Language Therapists with a clinical specialism/interest in fluency disorders.
We offer stammering assessments and therapy from our Harley Street clinic; some of our clients prefer to be seen in their homes and we’re happy to accommodate this.
The centre is headed up by Philip Robinson, a Specialist Speech & Language Therapist who came to the profession due to growing up with a stammer himself. Read his story below, along with the bios of the other members of the team who work with stammering
My stammer first emerged when I was 6 or 7, causing more than a little distress. Reading aloud and any kind of public speaking was a nightmare! I never saw a speech therapist for my difficulty, but i sometimes wonder how different my experience of school would have been if I had.
As a teenager I learnt to deal with it, as well as all the other usual things teenage lads have to deal with (spots, talking to girls, some terrible haircuts), and went on to university to study Linguistics (BA) and then Clinical Communication Studies (MMedSci), qualifying as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2012.
I am passionate about working with children and adults who stammer to help manage their fluency. Fluency shaping and stammer-modification techniques feature a lot in my work, but I also focus a lot on acceptance and how to work to your strengths to help you be the most effective communicator you can be.
Here’s a little clip of me talking to students at University College London about my stammer and how it informs my work: https://youtu.be/W06dl9Ylno8
Children's Stammering Assessment and Therapy
We’ll sit down with you and discuss your child’s case history. We’ll ask questions like:
- When did they start stammering?
- Is there any family history of stammering?
- When is their speech smoothest vs when is it most ‘bumpy’?
- What seems to help already?
We’ll do some language testing with your child to see where they’re at and then, depending on their age and ability, may ask them some questions about their stammer.
All this will help us build a picture of what your child needs and then we’ll put together a plan moving forward.
You as a parent/carer will be the key player in therapy. We’re experts in fluency, but you’re the expert when it comes to your child! So we’ll work together on therapy techniques and things to do at home with your child to help their speech.
Lidcombe and Palin PCI have been shown to be very effective with little ones. Older children will work on a range of fluency-shaping and block modification techniques, and we may explore some of those nasty negative feelings associated with stammering. The key is to make it fun and engaging, and no longer see the stammer as the one who’s in control of us!
We’ll typically see children from around 3 years old. Depending on their age it may be a case of giving you, the parents, some strategies and pointers to use at home, to make sure you’re maintaining a communication environment at home conducive to fluent speech
We’re big believers in bringing young stammerers together. A problem shared is a problem halved! Our groups are always good fun for everyone involved and we aim for youngsters to come away having learnt about others’ experiences with stammering.
Therapy is, of course, tailored to you as an individual. We take your current strengths and challenges into account and, in agreement with you, set clear therapy goals.
A typical course of therapy will take into account the following:
- Stammer identification: We’ll examine what happens when you stammer. Everyone’s stammer is as unique as them, and we’ll pick apart what’s going on - both physically and psychologically - when you hit that block.
- Desensitisation: We’ll look at the negative feelings or behaviours associated with your stammer and then get to work on them. This is particularly useful for covert stammerers (those who have a stammer but conceal it)
- Fluency modification: We’ll then look at fluency shaping and block modification methods to help you achieve more fluent speech
But that’s not all there is to it. Stammering is a hugely complex condition that affects each of us differently, and we’ll address all the factors associated with you stammer.
We aim to make you more effective communicators - don’t forget that fluency is just one part of that!
Where does therapy take place?
We can see clients at our clinic at 10 Harley Street or, if you’d prefer, at your home or work address.
Some international clients find therapy over Skype/Facetime useful. The relationship between therapist and client is key, so we invite you to meet with your therapist for a quick chat over Skype (no charge!) to see if you think you’d get along :)