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Gebbie Clinic to Host ‘Fluency Camp’ for Kids Who Stutter
The Gebbie Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic at Syracuse University will present Speaking Orange, its annual fluency camp for kids who stutter.
The camp will run Wednesday, June 26, from 3-6 p.m. and Thursday and Friday, June 27-28, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Gebbie Clinic (621 Skytop Rd.) on South Campus.
The cost is $140 per person—$120 for anyone registering on or before Tuesday, June 18. For more information, call 315.443.4485 or visit gebbie.syr.edu. Walk-ups are welcomed.
Co-organizer Victoria Tumanova says Speaking Orange is for elementary school-aged children who stutter, as well as their parents, other family members and legal guardians.
“We will explore what happens when we stutter, how to be more assertive when speaking and how to develop healthy attitudes about communication,” says Tumanova, assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders (CSD) in the College of Arts and Sciences.
She and co-organizer Anita Lightburn will focus on the so-called ABCs of stuttering—affective, behavioral and cognitive factors.
Assisting the duo will be graduate-student clinicians, supervised by Lightburn.
“We will engage in activities that promote awareness of and monitoring of one’s self and others while speaking,” says Lightburn, an assistant teaching professor of speech-language pathology in the Gebbie Clinic. “For instance, we will study Speech Helpers [parts of the body that produce speech] to understand how we talk and what happens when our speech is interrupted.”
She and Tumanova also will present role-playing scenarios to help campers “initiate, participate and advocate” for themselves.
Speaking Orange culminates with a capstone activity, highlighting each camper’s attitudes and emotions about speaking.
“What children learn about speech is informative. What they learn about stuttering is intriguing. The experience of encountering other children who stutter is invaluable,” Lightburn says.
Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (“li-li-like this”), prolongations (“liiiiike this”) or abnormal stoppages of sounds and syllables.
Experts believe stuttering is triggered by various factors, including genetics, child development, neurophysiology and family dynamics.
According to The Stuttering Foundation, more than 70 million people worldwide stutter, 3 million of whom are in the United States. About five percent of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more.
While there are no miracle cures for stuttering, speech therapy offers many benefits, says Tumanova, director of Syracuse’s Stuttering Research Lab. “Speech therapy helps children understand what happens when they stutter. It teaches them how to improve their fluency by gaining control over their speech, and helps them become effective communicators,” she adds.
Founded in 1972, the Gebbie Clinic is a state-of-the-art educational, clinical and research facility. In addition to serving as a training site for CSD graduate students, the clinic offers affordably priced audiology and speech-language services to the public.