We know how stuttering can seem to permeate every aspect of one’s life. We understand and we can help. The American Institute for Stuttering works with people who stutter of all ages from pre-school to school-age children, to teens and adults. We provide support to the person who stutters as well as to their families.

Support Groups and Group Therapy

Through our years of experience, we have seen that participation in group therapy and support groups are an excellent way for people who stutter to further their sense of empowerment and freedom to communicate without avoidance. 

Contact us to learn more and connect with the AIS community! 

What is Group Therapy Like at AIS? 

The power of group therapy has been well-documented in research and our own clinical experience. At AIS, we strive to connect clients with one another in order to create a community of support, accountability, and encouragement as they work to make sustainable changes to their stuttering experience.

Avoidance Reduction Therapy for Stuttering (ARTS©) is an approach to stuttering therapy based on the pioneering work of fellow speech therapist Vivian Sisskin and psychologist Dr. Joseph Sheehan. In ARTS, the real “problem” of stuttering is not the disfluencies themselves, but the negative life impact that attempting to pass as fluent has on the speaker. Together with an AIS therapist, clients work together to face their speaking-related fears, make changes to tense, avoidant stuttering patterns in favor of more ease and spontaneity, develop self-advocacy skills, and ultimately, find more joy in communication. Clients report immense positive changes in their confidence during functional communication experiences (e.g, job interviews, presentations, meeting new people, etc.), significant reduction in their physical speech struggle, and an overall improvement in their quality of life.

ARTS groups are held weekly or bi-weekly at this time based on client availability, with sessions lasting for two hours.

What is a Stuttering Support Group?

Stuttering support groups provide a safe space where participants can speak openly about their experiences and stutter without fear. The format allows participants to share as much or as little as they wish. 

Benefits of joining a Stuttering Support Group

Support groups allow people who stutter to feel more comfortable discussing their stuttering, to feel less isolated in their experiences, and to reduce their negative thoughts and feelings about stuttering. 

The support group also provides a safe sharing environment for those who might normally not contribute.  Participants are able to practice learned techniques for stuttering modification if they so choose. They are also excellent places to learn and practice self-advocacy. Led by warm and experienced AIS clinicians, our support groups are a great addition to individual speech therapy sessions.

Are Stuttering Support Groups Just For Adults?

All people who stutter, regardless of age, benefit greatly from support. That is why we offer support groups in all age categories. For young children, support can take the form of just talking to a peer who stutters or meeting an adult role model who shares their concerns. AIS provides these opportunities as well as special workshops where kids who stutter can speak openly in the company of other children who face the same challenge, They will learn that they are not alone, and share ways to communicate effectively and without avoidance or struggle.

Will insurance pay for my support group?

Health insurance rarely covers costs for stuttering support groups. AIS is dedicated to making these resources available to all people who stutter and these sessions are free of charge to all people who wish to participate.

Join an AIS Stuttering Support Group 

All past and present AIS clients are welcome to attend our support groups. If you have not attended any AIS programming, we invite you to schedule a consultation with one of our speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and become part of the AIS community. 

All clients who have received therapy at AIS in New York, Atlanta, or online have unlimited access to our monthly support and practice groups as well as our special speaker series presentations and specialty workshops. We periodically open events to friends and family members, and to the general public as well.

See our Program Calendar for more information about these offerings. 

Connect with the Greater Stuttering Community

At AIS we are proud to be involved with the stuttering community and we are happy to share connections and support opportunities from other organizations, including:

  1. the National Stuttering Association (NSA) has many local chapters across the United States. In addition to these local support groups, they also host an annual NSA Conference, typically the week of July 4th. 
  2. FRIENDS: The National Association of Young People who Stutter offers regional workshops for people who stutter and their families. 
  3. Stuttertalk: A podcast featuring issues related to stuttering.
  4. The Stuttering Foundation of America: An organization that provides ttering.f

The NSA and FRIENDS offer yearly annual conferences. Contact them for additional information.

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