This evening I read Stuttering in School-Age Children: A Call for Treatment Research by Marilyn A. Nippold, PhD, and Editor. 2011
This article is short, sweet, informative and basically hands out a research idea for dysfluency on a silver platter! In a nutshell this article discusses the need for research on therapy intervention for fluency for school-age children. I cannot agree more!
Since starting in an outpatient facility I have had just a hand full of school-age fluency clients. I feel that there are so many different techniques to target fluency that it would be nice to have some solid evidence-based practice to present to parents and the students to collaboratively make a great plan of care.
The author discusses the need and the benefit research would give this area of speech-language pathology. She further discusses two common methods in targeting fluency - the Lidcombe Program and the Gradual Increase in Length and Complexity of Utterance program. These two programs are very different - the first more child-directed and the second more structured and clinician-driven. The author feels that comparing these two methods in research for school-age children would be beneficial. Of course the difficult part in this would be the carry-over in the home environment for the patient's parents with the Lidcombe Program - but hey I think that this can at times be typical in the school and outpatient setting!
I would highly recommend reading this article - especially if you have a new fluency patient and are looking for a quick review of some therapeutic interventions. Before I go I wanted to pose a question. The author stated in her article that "Ms. Blake (an SLP) detected a trend in the literature toward counseling children to accept their stuttering and to learn to cope with its negative side effects instead of working directly on the stuttered speech, as if to say that we are throwing the towel on the effort to achieve fluency in school-age children." How do you all feel about this? Do you feel by school-age treatment is less focused on decreasing dysfluencies? I feel that learning to accept yourself is apart of the process though it is only a portion of the big picture in my therapy.