Inbox: Early Intervention for Stuttering: Addressing Misunderstandings We wish to correct any misunderstandings arising from an October letter (“Early Intervention for Stuttering: A Time for Grassroots Advocacy”) regarding a recent article on the development of stuttering in an Australian community cohort (bit.ly/pediatricsstutter). We are co-authors on this article, which reports on an ongoing study that is ... Inbox
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Inbox  |   January 01, 2014
Inbox: Early Intervention for Stuttering: Addressing Misunderstandings
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Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Inbox
Inbox   |   January 01, 2014
Inbox: Early Intervention for Stuttering: Addressing Misunderstandings
The ASHA Leader, January 2014, Vol. 19, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.19012014.4
The ASHA Leader, January 2014, Vol. 19, 4. doi:10.1044/leader.IN2.19012014.4
Early Intervention for Stuttering: Addressing Misunderstandings
We wish to correct any misunderstandings arising from an October letter (“Early Intervention for Stuttering: A Time for Grassroots Advocacy”) regarding a recent article on the development of stuttering in an Australian community cohort (bit.ly/pediatricsstutter). We are co-authors on this article, which reports on an ongoing study that is following all children in a community cohort from age 8 months. In this article, we report that children who had started to stutter by age 4 years were—as a group—similar in temperament and quality of life to the children who had not started to stutter. This is likely due to the fact that the study is community-based, not clinic-based.
We do not say that treatment should be withheld from individual children who start to stutter. On the contrary, we report the following clinical guidelines for intervening with the Lidcombe program from “The Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention: A Clinician’s Guide” (Pro-Ed):
  • Waiting a year after onset may not reduce responsiveness to the program.

  • However, children should be monitored and the program implemented immediately if the child and/or family show signs of distress.

These guidelines are evidence-based, as the Lidcombe program is the only treatment for early stuttering that has been evaluated in randomized controlled trials.
Ann Packman and Mark Onslow, Sydney, Australia
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January 2014
Volume 19, Issue 1