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New stuttering clinic opens in Albany

Monday, September 26, 2016

New stuttering clinic opens in Albany


Image: Janelle Irvine and Anna Hearne

A new specialist stuttering clinic has opened at Massey University’s Auckland campus, and aims to help people of all ages across the region who stutter.

Stuttering specialist Dr Anna Hearne says children often start stuttering between the ages of two and four.

“Early treatment is essential to try and prevent long-term impacts, however we can help people of all ages who stutter. For older individuals, we can work directly with them to develop strategies, and with younger children, the parent plays a central role,” says Dr Hearne.

The stuttering clinic is a collaboration between Massey University’s Speech Language Therapy Clinic and the Parnell-based Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust (START). Currently the clinic is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.

Dr Hearne says early intervention is the best way to tackle stuttering.

“Once children reach the middle of their school-age years, treatments usually need to include conscious strategies that the children employ to control their stuttering. Adults will often use a range of these strategies to help control their stuttering. In addition to these strategies, individuals who stutter commonly struggle with self-confidence and the reactions from others. These are also areas that are addressed in treatment.”

START Manager Janelle Irvine says the Albany clinic opens up more opportunities for people living in West Auckland and the North Shore to get help.

“We know that many of our clients prefer not to travel to our Parnell offices, so the new START Clinic at Massey University offers our clients another option that is closer to home.”

The clinic also gives Massey’s Speech and Language Therapy students valuable hands-on experience learning about stuttering strategies which will help broaden their knowledge.

“Our clinic already has a large caseload of children and adults who have swallowing and communication difficulties. This clinic enables us to serve the community and support the development of our students’ competency skills in an area of speech and language therapy that is unique and specialised,” says clinical director Yvonne Cope. “And of course, Dr Hearne is also a skilled clinical educator.”

People can either contact the clinic directly or they can be referred through their pre-school centre, school or medical specialist. The cost is $30 per half hour or $60 for a one-hour session. Discounts apply for community services card holders.

The Speech and Language Therapy Clinic is based at Massey University’s Oteha Rohe campus off Albany Highway. For more information on the clinic, click here.


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