Parents as Partners in Young Children's Stuttering Treatment

Re: Relapse?

From: Anne Bothe
Date: 10/23/00
Time: 3:00:27 PM
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There's most definitely a relapse problem for adults who stutter -- and even for adolescents. In general, though, I think it is a fair description of the research literature to say that children who have learned not to stutter, whether from reinforcement and corrections or from ELU/GILCU or whatever, tend to maintain their nonstuttered speech and go on about their lives as people who no longer stutter. There are lots of variables, obviously, but our maintenance data from this study show no relapse for any of the five children, and Onslow's published longterms maintenance data actually show continued improvement for some children, and the original research articles (the Martin, Kuhl, and Haroldson, 1972, puppet study that I keep referring to, for example) also show longterm (measured for a year or two) maintenance for children. I think I'm starting to repeat myself in answering these questions, so I apologize to anybody who is actually sitting reading this whole series (I can't imagine that there are too many, so I'm going to repeat myself!), but one of the things that is so nice about these simple praise/correct procedures is that they do not introduce any unnatural speech patterns -- it's not teaching the child to sound slow, or "stretchy," or "smooth," or like a snail, or any of those other metaphors. It certainly doesn't sound like careful "eggshell" fluency -- it sounds like kids chattering away! And the published speech naturalness data tell me that that is what children in other projects sound like, too.

Thanks for your questions!

Last changed: September 12, 2005