Therapy, Courses & Covid: What's Happening?

Logos of stammering courses and therapies

9th September 2020

With the coronavirus still affecting our lives, we contacted the providers of stammering therapy and courses to find out what they're doing now and about their plans for the near future.

Read on to find out what's happening. If you’d like to talk things through with us, call our helpline free on 0808 802 0002 or use our webchat, open weekdays from 10am-12noon and 6pm-8pm. Or you can email us at mail@stamma.org

Specialist speech & language therapy

NHS

During this period, Many NHS speech & language therapy services are now accepting referrals and providing telephone and video consultations, such as the Willy Russell Centre in Liverpool. 

Most have no plans to return to normal any time soon, but some are offering face-to-face appointments in certain situations. Some services are limited at the moment, so check with your local NHS provider — do a google search for 'NHS speech and language therapy (plus the name of your area)' for contact details.

If your local NHS provider can't offer you anything, you could apply for 'teletherapy'. This service, run by Airedale NHS, offers therapy via video link but you need to apply for funding from your GP first (unless you live in Airedale, in which case it's free). For more details on how to apply, click here.

Michael Palin Centre for Stammering 

The Michael Palin Centre in London is currently offering assessments and therapy for children, young adults and adults online, with some adaptations. However they do offer sessions face-to-face at the Centre for families or individuals who would prefer this or are unable to attend online. They have guidelines in place to keep people safe when going to the Centre. 

They're also running a Teens Intensive group, a one-week online group for 10-14 year olds, with a concurrent parents' group in the October half-term. And there's a free webinar available for therapists on how to deliver Palin PCI therapy.

Their services can be accessed through the NHS or via private funding. For more details click here

Private therapy

Many private speech & language therapists (SLTs) are offering online therapy via Zoom or Skype. Some have set up safe and secure working practices for one-to-one appointments again. To find details of private speech & language therapists, click here

Courses & other therapy 

Adults (in alphabetical order)

City Lit

The City Lit will be moving its stammering courses online later this month. These are normally held in London, so this is a good opportunity for anyone living outside the capital to access their range of daytime and evening group courses run by specialist SLTs.

Upcoming courses include a Stammering Therapy evening class and an Interiorised/Covert Stammering evening class, as well as intensive daytime and other short courses. For more details, visit their website here. For a free advisory session email speechtherapy@citylit.ac.uk 

City University

The stammering intensive courses at City University in London for ages 8-19 have been cancelled for 2020, and they are hoping to resume them in 2021.

The McGuire Programme

Matt Wilton, McGuire Programme Regional Director (UK South) told us, "We currently have no courses planned this year due to Covid-19. However, we are hoping to get something in place for early next year, depending on the situation. We have a great in-house members support, where we are running about 10 zoom support meetings a week." Keep an eye on the situation at their website here.  

Stammering Self-empowerment Programme

Paul Brocklehurst's free online-based course continues to run as normal, and Paul plans to make revisions and improvements to it this winter. Check it out by clicking here.

The Starfish Project (also for young adults)

Anne Blight, founder of the Starfish Project, and husband David told us, "We are sorry to say that we have, sadly, come to the difficult decision to cancel our September 2020 course. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed via our website here. 

'During these months we have been making sure that we provide support for everyone on the Starfish Project, particularly those in self isolation. We promise free support for life and during these difficult times this support has been increased, with regular virtual support link ups, etc. This support is much needed and will always be available." Visit their website by clicking here

Children/young adults

City University

The stammering intensive courses at City University in London for ages 8-19 have been cancelled for 2020, and they are hoping to resume them in 2021.

The Fluency Trust

The Fluency Trust, which provides residential therapy courses combined with outdoor activities for 10- to 17-year-olds, had to cancel its course this year. However, it has released dates for its July 2021 courses which you can find out about by clicking here.

They continue to run virtual groups for Swindon-based children and adults. Its Swindon Pack training course for speech & Language therapists this September is full.

Talking Out

For teenagers who stammer, this is usually a residential course, but they have now created ‘Talking Out Online’, a 5-day course combining speech & language therapy, individual challenges, group and one-to-one work in an online format. See their website here for more information. 

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