We have answered here some of the questions most frequently asked about STARFISH courses for Young People.
However, you may have other specific questions, if so please ask. You can telephone or email us at any time. It may seem like a small question, but it's important to you, so please ask.
Q - Is The STARFISH Project available for children who stammer?
A - Yes, We are proud to say, that The STARFISH Project has had great success to date working with children age 12 - 16 years old (accompanied by one parent). However, whilst the course is adjusted with respect to the child, is vital that the child concerned appreciates fully the level of commitment required.
Q - Do you take children younger than 12 years old ?
A - From experience we have found that key essentials like the attention span needed, the chest development required for the Starfish breathing technique and the level of commitment are generally not displayed until that age. We would not wish to give false hope to any young person under this age or to their parent.
Q - Do you take young people 16 - 18 years old ?
A - We can make arrangements for young people in this age group to attend an adult course (with a parent present).
Q - Is this a CURE for stammering?
A - Unfortunately there is no cure yet for stammering. We provide, what we believe is, the most effective method of controlling your stammer that is available today, and we are constantly changing and improving. There are courses that advertise false claims of stammering cures - please do not be misled into believing such claims.
Q - Can I attend the Starfish course with my young person?
A - We insist on a parent or guardian being present at all times on a Starfish young persons course. We realise that Starfish is different to most other therapies for young people, in that we want parents to be present. We want you to understand everything and to learn the techniques that your young person learns, so that you can be part of their on-going support after the course. You share a twin bedded room with your young person to give that extra support. It is also important to remember that your young person is your responsibility on the course. The hotel accepts no responsibility for unaccompanied young people and Starfish have no responsibility for the young people other than their speech.
Q - Is it possible for both parents attend?
A - We welcome both parents to attend any future refresher course with their young person but we know from experience that it is important for just one parent to be present on the first course.
Q - Where are STARFISH Young People's courses held?
A - All STARFISH Young People's courses are held at the Boship Farm Hotel, near Hailsham, East Sussex in the South East of England.
Q - How long does a STARFISH Young People's course last?
A - STARFISH Young People's courses last for approximately two and three quarter days. However, this is variable as we recognise that EVERY student is an INDIVIDUAL and course times and duration are adjusted to your personal needs.
Q - How many people are on a STARFISH Young People's course?
A - Numbers of new students is always restricted on a STARFISH course, to ensure the highest possible level of personal tuition. By ensuring numbers are restricted, the majority of time on a STARFISH course is spent in one-to-one tuition.
Q - Will my Young Person have to keep up with everyone else on the course?
A - No, not on a STARFISH course, as we have said your training and your rate of recovery from stammering is individual. This is not a competition; there is no fear of having to keep up with over twenty other new students, as on some other courses. On a STARFISH Young People's course we ensure that each new students pace is respected and followed at all times.
Q - Is the training all classroom work?
A - No, your final day on a STARFISH Young People's course is spent out in 'real' situations working in shopping centres etc. using your new STARFISH Project tools to control your stammer.
Q - Is the hotel food catered towards young people?
A - We have worked with the chef at the hotel to ensure that the menus always include meals catered towards young people.
Q - I understand that on some courses you are asked to stand up and make a speech in a public place, will I have to do this on a Starfish course?
A - No, not on a STARFISH course, we do not believe in asking people to do something that they are highly unlikely to do in their everyday life. Most speech therapists will tell you that they have found that, many people who stammer would, with encouragement stand up and perform in public this way. It is very similar to the example that many stammerers quote that they can act on stage without stammering. But it's not real life, on STARFISH we prefer to work on role -play situations that you may regularly encounter with you (e.g. the Post Office, ordering a meal in a busy McDonalds, enquiring about bus timetables etc. etc.)
Q - Are there breaks in the day on a STARFISH course?
A - Yes, we will regularly break during the day, and of course at lunch time, to ensure you stay 'fresh'. We keep a training day to your maximum input level - not to your exhaustion point. Most training days start at 9 a.m. and finish as near as possible to a school day We want to train you not to break you!
Q - How much does it cost?
A - The total fee for your STARFISH Project course including LIFETIME SUPPORT is £250. This is a one off lifetime payment. This fee is payable on the last day of your course. Of course there is no course fee for the attending parent / guardian.
Q - Why is the cost of The Starfish Project course so much less than other courses?
A - We believe that it is wrong to take advantage, particularly financial advantage, of the misfortune of other people. Stammering may currently be your misfortune; we will not take advantage of that. We understand that our beliefs may not be held by the organisers of other courses for stammerers that charge anything from £700 to over £1000 (plus accommodation). We have managed to keep the fee of your STARFISH course to the minimum that enables us to cover the costs of running the project. The course fee of course does not include your accommodation costs (see below).
Q - Where do I stay while on a STARFISH course?
A - We have negotiated very special year round accommodation rates at the course hotel on a half-board basis. An example of the special STARFISH Young People's course accommodation rates, you will share a twin ensuite room - bed, breakfast and 3 course evening meal - £90.42 per night inclusive for the 2 of you icl. VAT (2012 rates). Staying at the A.A. 3 star country hotel - The Boship Farm Hotel, near Hailsham in East Sussex.
The Boship Farm Hotel is situated on the A22 at the Boship Roundabout, which is the junction of the A22, A267 and A271. The Hotel is 22 miles from Tunbridge Wells, 20 miles from Brighton and only 9 miles from Eastbourne.
Q - Do you have a route map to the Boship Farm Hotel?
Q - Is my young person right for the STARFISH course?
A - If THEY want to control your stammer, if THEY have the determination to succeed and THEY want to be treated as an individual, and THEY are willing to follow simple instructions - then the answer is Yes. But it must be YOUR YOUNG PERSON that wants to control their stammer, not because you or someone else wants them to.
Q - Why should this work for them, when other therapy didn't?
A - We believe that because you are treated as an individual on The STARFISH Project then you have the best chance to succeed in your personal recovery from stammering. Whilst everyone on a STARFISH course receives the same full training, we are able to concentrate on any important points that you individually need. This can only be achieved because of the small numbers of people on a STARFISH Project course and the dedicated one-to-one training you will receive. Your dedicated and personalised, life time support programme will continue to make The STARFISH Project technique work for you in the long term.
Q - Does a Starfish Young People's course include advice for parents?
A- On a Starfish Young Person's course we have a special session for parents to give advice on how you can help in your young person's recovery and support them at home, school etc. You will also have special support telephone numbers of other parents who can help you with advice.
Q - Can I come back on further STARFISH courses?
A - Young people are welcome to come back (accompanied by a parent) on any further young people's courses to refresh your technique and assist your recovery. This is an open offer to all students, but we do not insist on this - it's up to each individual. We do not place any pressure or rely on people coming on courses to train new people you come back to work on your own speech. However, if you would like to you can help in the training of new students, this will enrich your experience and help in making a difference for other people who stammer.
Q - Is there a waiting list to go on a course?
A - We run two courses a year (during the Easter and Summer School holidays) so there may be a wait. BUT DO REMEMBER AS WE ONLY HAVE SMALL NUMBERS ON EACH COURSE THOSE PLACES FILL FAST.
Q - How do I contact The Starfish Project?
A - If you would like to discuss the Project, a course place or just chat about stammering, then please ring us on 01825 767268. We do appreciate that the telephone is a problem for some people who stammer. However, please remember that we speak to more people who stammer, applying for a Starfish course, than people who do not. We are only interested in what you have to say, not how you say it. You can also e.mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or apply online via our application form.