Graduate school is draining.
While I haven’t lost my mind yet, I’ve been almost completely preoccupied with clinic, exams, and projects. I’m also trying to plan out my next four semesters (because there are only four left!) as well as possible clinic assignments for next semester. So while I’m taking a break from studying for my test tomorrow on laryngeal anatomy and physiology, I figured I’d give you a blog post (since I haven’t for nearly a month).
I’m currently in Fluency, a class that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of stuttering. To be honest, I never had much experience with stuttering. When I introduce myself to someone new and explain that I’m in school for speech-language pathology, they typically say “oh, so you work with people who stutter,” if they have any idea at all. Half the people just give me blank stares or say they have no idea what speech-language pathology is.
While a lot of people seem to associate speech therapy with stuttering, I feel like a lot of clinicians don’t feel super comfortable with stuttering therapy. It’s not a required class for many graduate programs, and it’s often not even offered. This means that many newly-graduated clinician will have no classroom experience with fluency disorders and may have never even had a client who stutters.
A major part of this fluency class involves voluntary stuttering in phone conversations and in person. This is to desensitize us to the stuttering (because if you’re not used to it, just hearing someone stutter can make you really uncomfortable) as well as to give us a chance to experience a little bit of the challenges a person who stutters may face in day-to-day life.
I’ll be honest and say I’m nowhere near finished with this project. Confession time: I’m terrified of phone calls. It takes a whole lot of effort for me to dial a phone number. Listening to the ringing builds up the uncomfortable anticipation: my heartbeat gets louder and faster, my face feels hot, and my stomach drops. It’s practically a phobia.
Anyway, when I’m finished with this project, hopefully I’ll have some interesting revelations to share. If you’ve done similar projects, let me know about them in a comment!