This research investigated a syllable-timed speech treatment for school-age children who stutter. The results of this trial are sufficiently encouraging to warrant further clinical trials of the method.
About treatment for school aged children with stuttering
In a recent blog, I referred to promising research that is being conducted by Cheryl Andrews and her colleagues, from the Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Technology Sydney – ASRC. This research is targeted at treating school-aged children who stutter with syllable-timed speech therapy. This research study is at a phase 2 stage and participants included 22 school aged children who stuttered. Their ages ranged from 6 years to 11 years.
The population sample of this study was varied. It included children with different health issues. They had also previously undergone a variety of different speech therapy types. A number of children in the study had completed at least one treatment course, spoke multiple languages and had other health issues including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder – OCD, or speech sound and language difficulties. The children presented with a range of stuttering severities.
The results of this study indicated a reduction in percentage of syllables stuttered from 8.4% to 1.9% on average. Unfortunately 2 children did not respond at all to the treatment and there weren’t any children that stopped stuttering completely. Quality of life was reported to be improved on average. Reports of higher speech fluency satisfaction were noted by all the children that completed the study apart from one whose satisfaction rating remained unchanged.
One promising point about this study was the benefit received by children with multiple issues. This included improvement in stuttering for children who had a wide range of health issues. Some children benefited even after previously unsuccessful therapies. More research into this treatment program for children who stutter is warranted. The best treatment for children with stuttering can be determined by an experienced speech pathologist.
Contact us for results focused speech therapy
This article was written by our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah who is a Speech Pathology Australia member. If you have difficulties with speech or would like treatment for stuttering make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with simple and effective therapy targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.
• Andrews C, O’Brian S, Onslow M, Packman A, Menzies R Lowe R. (2016). Phase II trial of a syllable-timed speech treatment for school-age children who stutter. Journal of Fluency Disorders 48, 44-55. pubmed link