About the book
After five years of conventional speech therapy, nine-year old Eli's struggle with stuttering only got worse. He now not only stuttered, but turned his chin to his shoulder and growled in order to get out even a few words. Worse, he grew more silent with each passing day.
Desperate for answers, his mother, writer Doreen Lenz Holte, began asking some essential questions: Where did most strategies for addressing stuttering come from? Was there really evidence to support these approaches? If so, why did so many children continue to struggle?
Holte quickly discovered a surprisingly high level of uncertainty among speech therapy professionals. She began to see these organizations as the veneer that hid the often-times highly charged disagreements around stuttering therapy while encouraging parents to run, not walk, to their nearest speech therapist.
The primary message young children get in stuttering therapy is that they can and should manage their speech – in other words, try to not stutter – by utilizing speech tools and techniques. Is it possible that the anxiety this causes can actually create an even greater burden? Can that burden lead to excessive silence and disengagement – a far great handicap than the stuttering itself?
Through personal narrative and extensive research, Voice Unearthed answers these questions with a resounding "yes!" It also includes practical guidance that helps keep children talking, while minimizing everyone's anxiety around communicating.
Voice Unearthed frees us from the pointless, painful chore of counting speech errors and reminds us to keep our eyes on what truly matters. It's also a wake-up call for parents, professionals, and the entire field of speech therapy – and a reminder to "first do no harm."