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Changing perspectives for practice in stuttering: Echoes from a Celtic past, when wordlessness was entitled to time


Leahy, Margaret M.


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)


American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology (AJSLP), 2005, Band 14 (Heft 4), Seite 274-283, Rockville, Maryland: Eigenverlag, ISSN: 1058-0360 (Print); 1558-9110 (Online)




Changing perspectives for practice in stuttering therapy are informed by the changes in knowledge, social values, and belief systems of a society.

The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2001) has a sociological emphasis with a focus on the ability and functioning of the person, and it is currently fostering changes in perspectives for working with those who stutter.

These perspectives are reflected in Irish social mores in the 7th and 8th centuries, when social and legal codes enshrined the rights of people with speech disabilities in law and recognized the dignity and integrity of people with such disabilities. The society of the time showed awareness and acceptance of people with disabilities, and it provided the supports to enable their participation in society. To a large extent, these principles contrast with the predominantly impairment-based focus that has been the heritage of the speech-language pathology profession in the 20th century.

In order to review changing emphases in stuttering therapy and to consider applications of a sociological approach to stuttering, an outline of historical perspectives of the profession of speech-language pathology is presented. The evolution of the ICF is also outlined, moving from an impairment-based focus to a more sociological perspective. Both perspectives provide a historical context for consideration of approaches to working with stuttering, reflecting the ICF and echoing principles that were practiced in an ancient Celtic society.

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American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology

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Informationsstand: 06.10.2011

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