Familial Support and Treatment for Stuttering Children
Stuttering is a speech disorder where the fluency of speech is disrupted by repetition, pauses or prolongations of words. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (2010), stuttering affects individuals of all ages but occurs most frequently in young children between the ages of 2 and 6 who are developing language. This is a common stage in young children’s lives often referred to as normal dysfluency or psuedostuttering. Some children will have spontaneous recovery from stuttering, in which they recover without treatment, and some children will greatly need treatment intervention. Because there is no way to detect children who will recover without assistance and those who will not, the appropriate timing to seek intervention in hopes of a natural recovery has been debated. Nonetheless, it is important that treatment be provided in order to help the children without the ability to recover naturally to overcome or cope with such speech disorders as stuttering. Since a child is more likely to spend more time at home, it is beneficial for the child to receive a great amount of support from his or her family during the intervention. One early intervention program for children who stutter that requires a great deal of parental involvement is the Lidcombe Program.
The Lidcombe Program is a parent-administered, operant treatment for early stuttering. According to (Ratner & Healey, 1999), “The program rests on the premise that stuttering is a speech problem and that children who stutter must learn to manage their faulty speech production system in all life situations” (p.192). In relevance of time and age of intervention, the Lidcombe program suggests that, whereas a median of 10.5 clinic visits is sufficient for medium- and long-term control of stuttering in preschool-age children, slightly more visits are needed to
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