Rosanna Chatlani knew how frustrating it was to grow up with a fluency disorder. So did her husband, Chris. It meant that their brains were working faster than their mouths. They had so many thoughts and ideas, but they came out through stutters, false starts and many filler words such as “um” or “uh.”
So when their daughter Christina started showing signs of a similar fluency disorder as a toddler, her parents knew they needed help from ErinoakKids.
“At 20 months of age, Christina started to talk and I noticed she was stuttering,” says Rosanna. “When she was excited, she had trouble vocalizing her thoughts. Her brain was thinking faster than her mouth could move. There was just too much she was trying to say too quickly.”
Christina’s older brother Luke had similar struggles two years earlier. That’s when Rosanna and Chris first came to ErinoakKids. Now with a second child with a fluency disorder, the couple again turned to ErinoakKids and Speech Language Pathologist Rosa Migdanalevros to help smooth out Christina’s speech and improve her self-awareness.
To develop Christina’s fluency skills, Rosa used positive reinforcement techniques and gave her parents problem solving strategies they could practice at home.
With coaching from Rosa, Chris and Rosanna learned how to maintain eye contact with their daughter when she starts talking excitedly, and how to encourage Christina to stop and gather her thoughts. They’ve learned to praise her every time she says a “smooth word,” helping Christina know what her parents expect of her.
“Rosanna and Chris have done a great job of implementing what they have learned and their children are thriving,” explains Rosa. “Christina is well on her way to identify when and why she stutters, and you can see her gather her thoughts before she continues to speak.”
For Rosanna and Chris, the progress their kids have made and the support from ErinoakKids has been immeasurable.
“We were worried about our kids and the social impact that the fluency disorder would have,” says Rosanna. “But then we found ErinoakKids and they were truly our saviour. Rosa has given us strategies and tips that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. She has given us so much peace in knowing that our kids are going to be okay after all.”
How do you help make the impossible possible?
“Nothing is impossible when working with children. They are resilient! I give the whole family the tools, strategies, support and guidance they need to help their child communicate. This sets them up for success, which is the secret to achieving goals.” – Rosa Migdanalevros, Speech Language Pathologist