Academic, Clinical, and Educational Experiences of Self-Identified Fluency Specialists Purpose The purpose of the present study is to examine whether the academic, clinical, and fluency-related student experiences of professionals who self-identify as having specialized knowledge of fluency disorders differ from those who do not. Method An online survey was developed to identify the academic, clinical, and specific ... Article
Article  |   April 22, 2016
Academic, Clinical, and Educational Experiences of Self-Identified Fluency Specialists
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Geoffrey A. Coalson
    Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Courtney T. Byrd
    University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
  • Elizabeth Rives
    Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Geoffrey A. Coalson, Courtney T. Byrd, and Elizabeth Rives have no relevant financial interests to disclose.
    Financial: Geoffrey A. Coalson, Courtney T. Byrd, and Elizabeth Rives have no relevant financial interests to disclose.×
  • Nonfinancial: The data has been presented, in part, as a poster presentation at the 2013 ASHA convention, and as a seminar at the 2015 Southeastern University Clinical Educators Conference.
    Nonfinancial: The data has been presented, in part, as a poster presentation at the 2013 ASHA convention, and as a seminar at the 2015 Southeastern University Clinical Educators Conference.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Part 1
Article   |   April 22, 2016
Academic, Clinical, and Educational Experiences of Self-Identified Fluency Specialists
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2016, Vol. 1, 16-43. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG4.16
History: Received April 11, 2015 , Revised August 1, 2015 , Accepted October 1, 2015
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, April 2016, Vol. 1, 16-43. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG4.16
History: Received April 11, 2015; Revised August 1, 2015; Accepted October 1, 2015

Purpose The purpose of the present study is to examine whether the academic, clinical, and fluency-related student experiences of professionals who self-identify as having specialized knowledge of fluency disorders differ from those who do not.

Method An online survey was developed to identify the academic, clinical, and specific fluency-related experiences professionals had when they were undergraduate and graduate students. The survey was completed by 219 professionals within the field of speech-language pathology (122 self-identified specialists, 97 self-identified non-specialists).

Results Considerable overlap was observed in training experiences of self-identified specialists and non-specialists. However, Chi-square analyses revealed a significantly greater proportion of self-identified specialists reported (a) completion of a dedicated course in fluency disorders during undergraduate and graduate curriculum, (b) interaction with five or more fluency clients during clinical practicum, and (c) exposure to specific fluency-related activities such as voluntary stuttering and attendance at a fluency-related support group.

Conclusions Findings suggest that despite the degree of overlap between self-identified specialists' and non-specialists' pre-professional training, the quantity and quality of certain experiences may influence future decisions to focus more exclusively on working with persons who stutter.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to acknowledge the endowed support from the Michael and Tami Lang Stuttering Institute. We also thank Chelsea Derouen and Brittany Dyer for assistance with data collection, Natalie Spedale for reliability coding, Drs. Bilal Alsallakh and Takeshi Ikuma for assistance on visual graphics, and Drs. David Blouin and Michael Mahometa for assistance with statistical analyses.
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