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October 2021

Child and parent speech and language following the Lidcombe Programme of early stuttering intervention

Author(s): Dixon, M., Ratner, N. B., Onslow, M.

Journal/Book: Clin Linguist Phonet. 2000; 14: 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4Ee, England. Taylor & Francis Ltd. 427-446.

Abstract: The Lidcombe Programme of early stuttering intervention incorporates operant methods, and outcome data indicate that the procedure is an effective treatment. However, the mechanism or mechanisms responsible for the effects of this treatment remain unknown. One possible mechanism could involve untargeted change to parameters of parent and child speech during the intervention. In this preliminary report, speech samples from nine children were studied before and after treatment. The purpose was to target independent variables for future research. In spite of clear reductions in disfluency and stuttering in the children, there were no corresponding changes in child or parent speech rate, interspeaker turn latencies, or pragmatic functioning, that might account for such treatment effects. In fact, data suggested changes that would not be theoretically predicted to be associated with reductions in disfluent and stuttered speech: Maternal speech rate increased in post-treatment speech samples and the mothers decreased the proportion of their utterances that contained a request for information. However, some children's language measures did not meet developmental expectations during the period of study. Nonetheless. All children's language measures were within or above developmental expectancies during the period of study, which ruled out the possibility that this treatment induces extensive curtailment of language functioning.

Note: Article Ratner NB, Univ Maryland, Dept Speech & Hearing Sci, College Pk,MD 20742 USA

Keyword(s): stuttering; treatment; preschool child speech; parent speech; GRAMMATICAL COMPLEXITY; YOUNG STUTTERERS; TIME-OUT; LENGTH; UTTERANCES; SPEAKING; FLUENCY

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