The Fluency Trust is unique in providing residential fluency courses in activity centres. We believe that the combination of challenging outdoor activities and intensive therapy are complementary in developing greater confidence and self-esteem. These are vital factors in dealing with the emotional and physical challenges of stammering.
1st & 2nd July 2017
24th-28th July 2017
7th October 2017
Total Cost £350
The Blockbuster and Teen’s Challenge Courses run alongside each other. Both courses include:
Five day residential course
Report, liaison with professionals
Once we receive your referral you will be invited to an assessment day held in Swindon. During the day we will give you details about the residential course, give an opportunity to meet other course participants and we will meet with both parents and young people separately to establish your best hopes for attending the course.
Five day residential course
Course participants meet in Swindon to travel to Skern Lodge Activity Centre in North Devon
http://skernlodge.co.uk/ . During the course we will follow a specific programme which includes up to 5 hours of intensive Speech Therapy ( Group time) daily and outdoor activities.
An example day (Please note timings may vary depending on whether you are attending the Blockbuster or Teen’s Challenge course)
8.30am Group time
10.30am Outdoor pursuits activity
1.30pm Group time
3.30pm Outdoor Pursuits activity
18.00 Group time (positive thinking skills)
19.00 Evening activities
20.30 Free time
Group time: Consists of intensive Speech Therapy based on the Swindon Fluency Packs working toward your individual best hopes and our course aims
Outdoor pursuits: A variety of activities that will be chosen at the assessment weekend, for example surfing, climbing, kayaking, assault course and camp fire.
A parent session will be held in Swindon, both prior to and following the residential course.
Follow- up day
Held in Swindon, this an opportunity to review progress, discuss set backs and build solutions. It includes a group session and parent session.
Outcomes from our courses are very positive. We use a variety of outcome measures including situation questionnaires, our own graded progress scales, questionnaires for parents and Solution Focused Scales, allowing you to focus on the most important individual changes you would like to make as a result of attending the course. These measures are completed at assessment, after the course and on the follow-up day. Outcomes of our courses can be made available on request.
The aims of the course are:
To develop confidence in communicating
To develop a more positive attitude to speaking and decrease sensitivity to stammering
To develop strategies for managing stammering and increasing the feeling of fluency control
To develop problem-solving skills and self-help skills
To develop positive thinking skills
Children are able to meet others who are experiencing similar difficulties. They are given the opportunity to share thoughts and feelings which is vital in reducing the feelings of isolation they may be experiencing.
By providing support for each other, children feel freer about trying new, different and potentially more effective ways of thinking and behaving, and confidence can be developed.
Parents have the opportunity to meet others and share experiences and ideas about their child’s stammering, and how they can help with factors such as fluency control and increasing self-esteem. Encouraging parents to work with their child helps to aid generalisation of what the child has learnt and achieved on the course.
Intensive speech therapy
Children receive a minimum of four hours speech therapy a day, and throughout the course there are opportunities to practise these skills, whilst participating in activities and interacting with their peers.
The Activity Centre setting is a vital part of the course. Skills such as problem-solving and positive thinking can be practised in real-life situations, and the sense of achievement children feel when participating in the activities helps develop confidence and self-esteem.
Developing independence and self-help skills
The course encourages children to take responsibility for managing their stammer, by giving choices, so that each child begins to recognise what they need to do in order to make a difference to their speech and the way they feel about it. As children are away from home, they learn to become more independent and develop skills in managing challenging situations. This can also increase feelings of confidence and self-esteem.
Reducing the need for future therapy
Working with children at this age helps to equip them with strategies to manage their stammer, and encourage a positive attitude towards speaking. This prevents a negative self-image from developing and stops unhelpful secondary stammering behaviours, so that they can go on to be comfortable and confident about their speech, thus decreasing the need for ongoing speech therapy in later life.
Help at this age is particularly important because many of the children are facing the change from primary to secondary education.
We have developed our course to take into account the impact stammering has on the developmental issues involved in adolescence. These include:
Self-identity and independence
Adolescence is a time for increasing independence and developing individuality. Our course encourages each person to take
responsibility for managing their stammer by giving choices and encouraging flexibility, so that each person learns to recognise
what they need to do in order to make a difference to their speech and how they feel about it. The fact that the teenagers
are away from home helps to encourage independence. The centre is an ideal venue for encouraging personal development
due to the opportunities to take part in a wide variety of physical activities, e.g. climbing, abseiling, kayaking, etc.
The importance of peers
A teenager who stammers can feel isolated due to their difficulties in communicating. At a time when good friendships are vitally important, our course provides an opportunity to meet others with the same difficulty. Sharing thoughts and feelings is essential in developing a positive attitude to speaking and increasing confidence.
Separating from parents
This can be a difficult time for parents to be involved. Our workshops with parents focus on problem-solving the issues of adolescence in terms of how stammering has an impact. Through discussion, ways of supporting teenagers are developed which decreases parental anxiety.
Looking to the future
Young people are often concerned about exams, future employment and relationships. Our work on positive thinking helps each individual to recognise any negative thoughts in relation to the above and change them.
If stammering is not addressed at this vital time in a person’s life, there can be negative implications for self-esteem and confidence, which can lead to a failure of the individual to meet their potential, both socially and in the working environment. Addressing the difficulties now will decrease the need for ongoing speech and language therapy in adult life.
Referrals to our courses can be made by parents or through a Speech and Language Therapist.
We have 12 places for Blockbuster and 12 places for the Teens Challenge courses. Early referral is essential. Once these places are full, further referrals will be placed on a reserve list
We encourage referrals through a Speech and Language Therapist because of the importance of follow up support after the course.
What happens after the referral is sent?
As referral forms are received by The Fluency trust, we will put the young person’s name on our course list and an acknowledgement will be sent via email either to you or your therapist. Your therapist should inform you that your child’s referral has been received.
Assuming we have no questions or concerns about the referral, your child will be invited to the Assessment weekend (you will receive an invitation to this around one month beforehand)
Unless there are any major concerns following the assessment weekend, then your child is guaranteed a place on the course.
It is vital that you can commit to all the dates and all the parent sessions.
To refer, please complete the form and return it to us as soon as possible.