Parents as Partners in Young Children's Stuttering Treatment

Re: Age recommendation for Praise/Correction Program

From: Anne Bothe
Date: 10/5/00
Time: 9:33:58 AM
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Hi, Rhonda – Thanks for your questions. I'm so glad to hear that you are taking an active role in seeking different possibilities for your son, and I really hope that you and he can find some things that help!

Your first question was about the children's age. The oldest child that I've used strictly a "praise and correction" approach with was 8; he turned 9 during the time that we were working with him. I don't think that being corrected is the problem for older kids – Truly, that's the whole point of all teaching and all therapy, is to show somebody some things she didn't know or help her figure out when she's doing it right and when she's not. And there have been reports in our research and treatment literature for almost 30 years of conditions or procedures like these working to reduce stuttering in adolescents and adults, as well as in children (the first reports of directly stopping people when they stuttered were actually about adults, because at that time in our field's history people were afraid to do such a thing with a child). On the other hand, you might have read about people referring to treatment with these sorts of procedures with children as "the Lidcombe program," which is one particular variation on these themes that Dr. Onslow and his colleagues in Australia have developed. They report that these approaches don't seem to work quite as well with school-age children as with younger children – but I think that there are many, many reasons why they might be getting that result, so on the whole I'd be willing to try these approaches with a client of any age. I'd just keep good data about whether it's helping, and change my approach if it's not.

Your second question, about you and your son in particular, is difficult for me to answer from a distance. You might start by asking your son's speech pathologist if she is aware of these kinds of treatments – maybe even print off some things from this On-Line Conference and talk about them with her? Maybe she could help you to try some things. You might also want to try the Stuttering Foundation of America's referral list for wherever you live – they keep a list of speech pathologists who are happy to see clients who stutter ( And if you really would like to talk with your son's speech pathologist about her contacting me, I'd be happy to talk with her; she could track me down through the University of Georgia's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. I'd be a little worried about how she might take that suggestion, but you'll be a much better judge of that for her than I can be, given that you know her and I don't.

My very best wishes to you and your son.

Last changed: September 12, 2005