The British Stammering Association has always been of the view that while many pre-school children who stammer can be supported by a generalist Speech and Language Therapist (as long as these have access to a specialist in stammering for support and advice), any person who stammers from school-age upwards requires specialist intervention to support them in the impact that stammering can have on their education, their emotional well-being, their social inclusion and their mental health.
At a time when specialism in the National Health Service is becoming harder and harder to sustain, a recognised route to becoming a certified, recognised fluency specialist is one important aspect in our battle to defend our field from ever encroaching cuts in therapy services.
It also serve as an assurance for clients, both adults who stammer and parents of stammering children who are seeking support to know there is a recognised certificate which means they or their child will receive the best support possible.
We are delighted to see this new initiative which will offer an opportunity for therapists across Europe to improve their skill and seek certification while at the same time learn from each other.
British Stammering Association
This European Fluency consortium is now doing what it has done best since 2008, generated informed leadership and clinical service to those with fluency disorders such as stuttering. Students from more than 20 countries have graduated and this new follow-up trajectory for becoming a European Fluency Specialist, and requirements to maintain specialty recognition are further examples of the high standards you have rightly set for treating those with fluency disorders. Education is a life-long process, and evidence-based treatment requires constant updating of information and exchange of ideas.
As the author of a text in stuttering, I know that literally hundreds of research articles appear in this area of practice annually, each capable of dramatically altering how we diagnose, treat and counsel our clients and families. Your standards for maintenance are the best way to ensure an informed cadre of specialists with cutting-edge knowledge and experience, to the benefit of those challenged by fluency disorders. As chair of IFA’s instruction and training committee and IFA president-elect, I am delighted to see a world-leading consortium such as yours move forward to ensure that our patients and families receive the highest possible standard of care. I congratulate you on your vision and implementation. The ECSF is truly an invaluable asset to our field.
Nan Bernstein Ratner,
International Fluency Association
The Stuttering Foundation is delighted to endorse this important initiative to develop a European Fluency Specialist status for therapists working in our field. Throughout its almost 70-year history, the Stuttering Foundation has sought to provide training and resources to equip professionals to provide improved services.
It is critically important that there be more therapists with specialist knowledge and skills; this European Fluency Specialist registration is a dynamic process of establishing and maintaining registration, which requires ongoing clinical professional development.
This will help to ensure that services provided will be of a quality to improve the lives of those who stutter, our collective mission.
The Stuttering Foundation
Stuttering can seriously impact the development of a child and parents can be extremely worried by it. Research has shown that severe stuttering negatively impacts the quality of life of adults who stutter .
To provide the best therapy possible to those who stutter, clinicians treating stuttering need to have a solid, up-to-date foundation of knowledge about stuttering and be well-trained in providing evidence based stuttering treatment.
As a researcher in the field of stuttering and a member of the Dutch Association of Stuttering Therapists, I wholeheartedly welcome the European initiative to educate Speech Language therapists to become qualified Fluency Experts, enabling them to provide the best treatment possible for the individual client, based on the best evidence available.
The National Clinical Excellence Network (CEN) in Disorders of Fluency in the UK welcomes this exciting initiative to develop European Fluency Specialists (EFS) to work with those who stutter or clutter. The CEN seeks to support speech and language therapists across the UK in the ongoing development of their skills in working with children young people and adults with disorders of fluency.
Gaining and maintaining EFS certified status will ensure that the therapists’ knowledge and skills continue to be refined, to the benefit of both the therapists and the children and adults whose needs we all seek to serve.
The National CEN in Disorders of Fluency