Stuttering and Bilingualism in Children and Adults

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Stuttering and Bilingualism in Children and Adults

From: Stephanie Shapiro
Date: 01 Oct 2008
Time: 20:53:55 -0500
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At the start of the article, I was surprised that parents would ask if they should eliminate a second language if their child is stuttering. Personally, I believe that being exposed to two different languages is a gift, and that it is very useful in life. I wish that I knew a second language. Therefore, I would never prevent my child from knowing one. In my clinic, I have never been exposed to a child or adult who stutters in two different languages. In fact, I encountered one incident where a school-age child was fluent in Spanish, and only stuttered in English. I was pleasantly surprised to read that bilingualism does not affect clinical outcome for treatment in stuttering. The only aspect of that experiment that I questioned was why 48 males were used, and only 8 females were used, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have had a great affect on the conclusion. It was also great to see that once stuttering was treated in one language, it had a positive effect on the other language. Finally, the most interesting aspect of the article as a future Speech-Language Pathologist was regarding whether a monolingual SLP is able to assess disfluencies in a language they do not speak. This is an important part of practice for someone like me, who will be working in New York and may encounter many different languages. I was happy to read that the monolingual judges were able to pinpoint the disfluencies in a language unfamiliar to them. This article was very interesting and informative, and gave me hope for treating bilingual PWS in the future.

Last changed: 10/01/08