F.A.S.T. Fluency

Stop Stuttering With Early Intervention

Designed by Tim Mackesey in 1997, F.A.S.T. Fluency addresses the unique needs of your child. More than 450 children have graduated from this program with stuttering resolved. F.A.S.T. Fluency will prove to be at the cutting edge of fluency treatment for years to come.

FASTFluencyGraphicF.A.S.T. Fluency is an acronym for Family And SLP Treatment for Fluency. 

F.A.S.T. Fluency teaches parents how to help their child stop stuttering.

“Mr. Tim was a life changer for our pre-school son! His stuttering was severe and Tim was able to make therapy fun and very effective! Now our son has very fluent speech across all settings! Thank goodness for Mr. Tim. As a speech pathologist myself I would recommend him to anyone!”

timangirl1We offer you a unique, highly effective direct approach that aims to resolve stuttering in preschool children. Realize that the symptoms of stuttering (i.e., tight lips, eyes blinking, facial grimaces, tense repetitions, avoidance etc.) are a sign that your child is trying to stop herself from stuttering. This struggle and force response is age appropriate. Recall when young children yank stuff out of a drawer or tug on a “pull toy” wrapped around a chair leg – their motto is “when stuck, use force.” The best window of opportunity to resolve stuttering is when it is only a behavior. That is, before emotions, cognitions (limiting thoughts), and the identity of a stutterer is established. Teasing, mocking, stern verbal corrections, and internal struggle all lead to more frustration, more tension, and more symptoms. The process begins with a comprehensive speech and language evaluation. It is important to confirm that a child who is stuttering is within normal limits for articulation, oral-motor skills, hearing, and language. In-depth video analysis of fluency is performed. Parental education and training begins the first visit.

The therapy process involves parents learning hands-on strategies to facilitate fluency at home. After demonstrating successful use of these strategies in the clinic, parents begin the direct approach at home. We tailor a program specific to your child and work together with parents toward common goals. The program is loaded with positive reinforcement as the child learns more fluent speech patterns. A 12 session intensive typically resolves most of the stuttering.  Check-ups may be needed in some cases.

Many parents ask: “will my child outgrow this?” Most preschool children experience a period of normal disfluency. Some studies indicate that up to 75% of preschool children experiencing normal disfluency will resolve on their own. Normal disfluency is primarily loose and effortless whole-word repetitions and phrase repetitions. These children are generally unaware of the mild, developmental disfluency.

Many pediatricians give a blanket response of: “Don’t worry he’ll outgrow it.” The risk of a long term stuttering problem demands closer examination. Worldwide 1-2% (3% in African American population) of the adolescent and adult population stutters. That is about 60 million people who did not outgrow it, isn’t it?It is very important to differentially diagnose the preschool children. See the Pre-School Stuttering page for a list of “typical” versus “less typical” disfluencies to learn what is normal and not normal for preschool children.Kate and Tim fixing bumpy words

The odds of outgrowing it after age seven are very slim. That is because children develop the emotions and avoidance behaviors as a result of their awareness and dislike of stuttering. As you educate yourself about the progressive nature of stuttering you must decide whether help from a specialist is desired.

Many parents share: “I heard you’re not suppose to say or do anything when a child stutters because it will only make it worse.” This information comes from the misinformed, or the practitioner who lacks the knowledge and/or experience required to deliver direct therapy (download a pdf to learn more about direct therapy). Where passive help – such as modeling slow speech and reducing time pressure and demands on the child – will assist a majority of children through the stage of normal disfluency (more typical), there is a category of children who are at high risk for progressing into a life-long stuttering problem. A skilled practitioner of direct therapy can deliver treatment that will preserve the self-image of the child and rapidly develop new speech patterns.