Parents as Partners in Young Children's Stuttering Treatment

Re: Older children/students

From: Anne Bothe
Date: 10/21/00
Time: 11:55:13 AM
Remote Name:


Neat question! And the answer is an interesting one: the history of "response contingent" approaches to stuttering, which is what these are (the "response" is the stutter, and something happens "contingent" upon it), actually began with adults and almost literally worked its way down to children, because at the time (late 1950s through the 1960s) just about everyone was still held by diagnosogenic ideas and simply didn't dare to do something as straightforward as use the same teaching approaches we use for articulation or anything else to teach children to speak without stuttering. There are several very nice and relatively well controlled reports of using time-out, in particular (stop talking for a few seconds as soon as a stutter is identified), as an effective treatment with adults and adolescents, yes -- take a look at Prins and Hubbard's (1998 -- JSHR) reference list, to get some idea of the many studies. The data are imperfect in a lot of cases, and Prins and Hubbard's review of important issues is still timely, but on the whole there's lots of evidence from multiple ages. I have a sense, not completely supported by empirical evidence but I'm going to go ahead and guess a bit, that the best way to use response contingent approaches with older children might be as a combination of clinician-administered or parent-administered and SELF-administered time-out, mixed with some explicit teaching about how to start again -- e.g., teach an easy-onset skill within a RC framework.

Thanks for the question --

Last changed: September 12, 2005