Read time: 4.5 minutes
So many times, in life, you might have heard
this about stuttering, but you might not know much
about the individuals who help people who stutter.
We asked one of our experts at 3C, Jaime Michise, some questions to learn more about experiences with stuttering. As you will read below, you will get the chance to be wonderfully educated by someone determined to best help others.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, and what motivated you to
choose being an SLP who wanted to work with people who stutter.
I'm Jaime! :) I currently live in the Dallas, Texas area, though
I'm a Midwesterner at heart. I was born and raised in Michigan and am a
graduate of Bowling Green State University (Go Falcons!). I've been a
speech-language pathologist for the past eleven years and I've worked in many
settings in many locations, including Ohio, Texas, and even abroad in Nagoya,
I have a passion for working with people who stutter thanks to a client that I worked with in graduate school and several friends/colleagues who inspired me to make working with this amazing population the focus of my career. Currently, I have a private practice working with people of all ages who stutter and I also teach stuttering and counseling at the collegiate level. My current research interests also focus in the areas of stuttering, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), mindfulness, counseling, etc. Together with my friend and colleague, Scott Palasik, I'm also the co-host of the Act to Live podcast.
2. What are some lessons that you have learned from the people you
Oooh, this is such a great question! I truly believe that the clients I work with will teach, and have taught, me more than I will ever teach them. Some of the biggest take-away lessons thus far would have to be:
-The power of resilience
-The bravery, strength, and importance that it takes to be one's true authentic self
-The importance of connection and community
-The true power of actively listening to other people
-The importance of continuing to grow and evolve as a communicator (and person)
-And, most importantly, the courage to speak up even when it may be difficult
3. How do you hope to impact your clients and families in your
If I can help one client to see that his/her stuttering does not have to be a barrier in life, then I will consider my career a success. My clients have so much to share with the world - and I truly hope that they will continue to speak up despite those moments of stuttering!
4. What has been the biggest challenge(s) for you
as a professional, and what are some of your ideas to ease these challenges?
I think one challenge perhaps is the amount of misinformation that
still exists about stuttering - whether amongst the general public or within my
profession. I've heard from many professionals that they fear working with
people who stutter because they don't feel equipped to do so. I also find that
many times, the wants and needs of the clients are not the main focus of
Professionals feel the need to 'fix' a client instead of working together with their clients to guide them toward accomplishing their communication goals. I think continued education and conversation is the biggest way for us to continue to bridge these gaps/lessen the challenges. Knowledge really is power! And, I truly believe in the power of life-long learning. I also believe that we can ease many of these challenges by setting aside our own assumptions and truly allowing ourselves to listen to what is important to others/our clients even if it might differ from what is most important to us.
5. Please tell us about an experience you had with a client,
family, or peer that has influenced you in some way?
It's so tough to select just one experience! I think, however, one of the most influential and life-changing experiences of my professional career has been my involvement with Camp Shout Out for Youth who Stutter over the past ten years. This is a summer camp for children and teens who stutter that takes place every summer. It is also a training program for speech-language pathologists and students who want to learn about working with people who stutter. I've met so many amazing campers who stutter and their families, as well as other professionals who've become colleagues and friends. The campers are beyond inspiring and I've learned and grown so much as a speech-language pathologist and person!
6. What do you feel is still unknown about stuttering?
There is a saying that I hear often - "If you've met one person who stutters, you've met one person who stutters." I think that this is so true and so important for us to remember. Each person's journey with stuttering is different and the impact that stuttering has on that person might be completely different as well. I think this speaks to the importance of really figuring out the contributing factors present for each person we work with, as well as their values, wants, and goals.
7. If you had 3 million dollars that you could use for developing
improved stuttering treatment, how would you use that money?
I'd love to see more people who stutter have the
ability to connect with others who stutter. So, with that money - I think I'd
help to make camps for people who stutter (of all ages) even more widespread.
I'd also love for more families to get the support that they want and need when
it comes to stuttering.
Plus, if more camps exist, more professionals could also attend and increase their knowledge, skill level, and comfort when working with this population. I feel like it would be a win-win-win for the stuttering community and their supporters! I love the idea of spending large chunks of my year working in an outdoor, real-life, camp-type setting.
8. Tell us more about your mission with creating digital educating?
For me, one of the most exciting aspects of digital education is that it is available to anyone, anywhere, at any time. This makes learning so much more accessible and possible! A lot of times, in the past, there would be a training or course that I really wanted to attend; however, it would require a lot of travel, which might not have been feasible. I think this now allows people to share their knowledge, expertise, and passion with others more readily, which ultimately results in even more learning and growing for us all!
9. Do you have any future courses, podcasts, or blog ideas you are
thinking about creating?
I'd love to create courses that help speech-language pathologists to feel more confident in assessing and treating people who stutter of all ages. I want them to feel empowered to develop an understanding of their client's unique needs and be able to guide them using differential thinking and problem solving. I also really believe in the importance of being able to counsel our clients and families. This is something that many clinicians feel uncomfortable doing and it is often excluded from training curriculums; therefore, additional training is definitely much-needed.
As you can see, Jaime is determined and driven
to serve people with communication disorders, especially stuttering, to help anyone be the most effective communicator possible.
To learn more about stuttering and other digital media Jaime is involved with visit:
- Act To Live Podcast
- Act To Live Blog
- Mindfulness 101: Experiencing Your Mind and the Neurology Behind It (Webinar)
- Incorporating Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) with Clients who Stutter: An Experiential Journey
Remember to connect with others, communicate effectively, and collaborate for a better today and tomorrow.
With compassion and kindness,
©Photo by Jamie Michise via Canva.com