START speaks up on the global stage

Dr Anna Hearne, a speech language therapist based at our Albany clinic, has recently returned from Germany and France where she has been sharing her knowledge with clinicians and therapists from across Europe. Anna was invited to present at a conference conducted by the Interdisziplinaere Vereinigung der Stottertherapeuten in Fulda, Germany (translated as the “Interdisciplinary Association of Stutter Therapists”).

 

The conference was focused on “’Effectiveness of Therapy for stuttering: what we do, and how we measure this”. Together with colleague Bettina Freerk, the presentation explained their findings and experience with the Lidcombe Program for stuttering treatment in children. Following each presentation there was a chance for healthy discussion of the topic and a question and answer session among the professionals to maximise learnings. As one of only 10 presentations to an exclusive group of 130 invitees, Anna and Bettina not only educated the audience but also helped to grow STARTs networks on a global scale.

 

A big part of our role as therapists is professional development and education. For us, it’s important to stay at the head of the field with the latest research and treatment approaches to ensure we’re delivering the best service to our clients. As well as the conference in Germany, Anna continued on to present workshops about the Lidcombe Program in Germany and the Camperdown Program in France, helping more therapists to become aware and proficient with these treatment approaches.

Start Celebrates 21 Years of Service

founding-members-1In March 2016 START formally marked its twenty first birthday with a party and celebration for some of our friends and supporters.

Around sixty people gathered at the home of current trustee and generous host Suzanne Purdy and her husband Peter in Epsom.

The evening was an opportunity for past trustees, ambassadors and staff members to catch up. START ambassadors Royce Willis and Ian Grant were in attendance along with past employees, and trustees and long term supporters of START. Manager Janelle Irvine is optimistic about the future for START. “We see huge potential in our group programmes due to the sense of community they create for our clients and this is an area we are focusing on to build a sustainable future for our organisation.”

Janelle also paid tribute to the commitment and dedication of longstanding Chairman Nigel Whiteman and current Speech Language Therapist Roz Young who have served START for many years. “The sense of family START has created is very important to us and we’re proud of our close supportive community”

START was established in 1995 by a small group of committed and motivated people which included speech language therapists, people who stuttered and families of children who stuttered. June Garden and Vivienne Mills were instrumental in forming the Stuttering Treatment and Research Trust when the District Health Board stopped providing treatment through its outpatient services.

START team learn more about the Demands and Capacities Model (DCM)

In July START employees Anna Hearne and Voon Pang attended a workshop in Rotterdam to learn more about the demand and capacities (DCM) model.

The workshop was an invaluable opportunity for the START team to see the DCM programme results, which are showing similarities with the Lidcombe Program. The highlight for Anna and Voon though was the opportunity to meet and network with such a large group of experts in stuttering with delegates from Russia, Japan, Brazil, Netherlands, Germany, and Australia. “To have all that expertise and interest in stuttering in one place was really energising” Anna said.

START receives excellence award

START is delighted to have been granted the Marion Saunders Excellence in Speech Language Therapy Practice Award for 2015.

This award was established in 1973 and is open to all members of the New Zealand Speech Language Therapy Association (NZSTA) who have had a presentation accepted at the NZSTA Professional Development Symposium.  This two day event is biennially and was held in Christchurch this year.  The award is for an innovative project that has clinical/practice application and impact within the New Zealand context.

START was given the award for our presentation of the Pilot Mentoring Programme for PWS by PWS: Preliminary Evidence.  START developed the Pilot Mentoring Programme in conjunction with Wendy Baker from the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre (NZCMC).

It is well known that stuttering can have an impact on people’s lives including negatively affecting self-esteem, reducing educational opportunities and limiting occupational progress.  Research suggests that people who stutter may have less social support than others.  Mentoring is a supportive learning relationship which supports an individual to reflect and learn from their experiences.

The Pilot Mentoring Programme examined the effectiveness of formal mentoring for six pairs of people who stutter (PWS).  The mentees were all males in their 20s who were at transition points in their lives.  The mentors were all older males who were identified as having “lived well” with their stutter.  The mentoring pairs met every 3-4 weeks over a six month period and used their sessions to discuss a range of issues.  The mentees were interviewed both before and after the mentoring programme.  Some of the themes that emerged were increased confidence, less anxiety, becoming more open about stuttering and in some cases a changed perspective of stuttering.

 

Please contact START if you would like to discuss the findings of this research further.

Mentoring Recognised

START is delighted to have been granted the Marion Saunders Excellence in Speech Language Therapy Practice Award for 2015.

This award was established in 1973 and is open to all members of the New Zealand Speech Language Therapy Association (NZSTA) who have had a presentation accepted at the NZSTA Professional Development Symposium.  This two day event is biennially and was held in Christchurch this year.  The award is for an innovative project that has clinical/practice application and impact within the New Zealand context.

START was given the award for our presentation of the Pilot Mentoring Programme for PWS by PWS: Preliminary Evidence.  START developed the Pilot Mentoring Programme in conjunction with Wendy Baker from the New Zealand Coaching and Mentoring Centre (NZCMC).

It is well known that stuttering can have an impact on people’s lives including negatively affecting self-esteem, reducing educational opportunities and limiting occupational progress.  Research suggests that people who stutter may have less social support than others.  Mentoring is a supportive learning relationship which supports an individual to reflect and learn from their experiences.

The Pilot Mentoring Programme examined the effectiveness of formal mentoring for six pairs of people who stutter (PWS).  The mentees were all males in their 20s who were at transition points in their lives.  The mentors were all older males who were identified as having “lived well” with their stutter.  The mentoring pairs met every 3-4 weeks over a six month period and used their sessions to discuss a range of issues.  The mentees were interviewed both before and after the mentoring programme.  Some of the themes that emerged were increased confidence, less anxiety, becoming more open about stuttering and in some cases a changed perspective of stuttering.

The 2015 Programme is underway involving eight pairs of PWS.

Please contact START if you would like to discuss the findings of this research further.

START services expand to Albany

START now offers clients specialist stuttering treatment on Auckland’s North Shore thanks to a new partnership with Massey University.

Dr Anna Hearne who has a PhD in stuttering leads the specialist service at Massey University’s Speech Language Therapy Clinic at the Albany campus.

START Manger Janelle Irvine is excited START’s satellite clinic is now up and running, “We know that there are many clients who prefer not to travel to our Parnell clinic.  Thanks to the involvement of Massey University START can offer a new option to our North Shore based clients on where they would like to be seen.”

The specialist stuttering clinic offers appointments on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please contact the START office on support@start.org.nz or phone 09 379 6364 to arrange an appointment.