The great news is that preschool stuttering can be treated!
The most common, evidence based treatment for stuttering in Australia is the Lidcombe program.
The Lidcombe program is a behaviour treatment. In simple terms, children are praised for smooth/stutter free speech. When using the Lidcombe program, parents are trained in the components of the program by a speech pathologist in weekly clinic visits of approximately 1 hour. Parents then implement the strategies at home in practice each day, and during informal conversation with their children. The Lidcombe program, when implemented correctly, is warm and positive.
There are 2 stages to the Lidcombe program. During stage 1, gradually children’s speech becomes smoother over the course of the program, until they attain smooth or nearly smooth speech, then they progress to stage 2 of the program when therapy is gradually withdrawn and no longer require therapy.
Most children who complete the Lidcombe program remain stutter-free throughout their life.
Here is a link to the Lidcombe Program Trainer’s Consortium with helpful videos demonstrating the program:
It is important for your child to be assessed by a speech pathologist as soon as you notice that your child is stuttering. Stuttering is most effectively treated in the pre-school years, at least a year before your child starts school.
Older children are often treated using Syllable-Timed –Speech (STS), also known as the Westmead program. Adults are often treated using the Camperdown Program. Both of these approaches are evidenced based treatments for stuttering.
For more information about our Stuttering Therapy for Children get in touch with one of our Speech Pathologists today on 02 9313 8980.
Onslow, M., & O’Brian, S. (2013). Management of childhood stuttering. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49, e112–eE115.
O’Brian, S., Iverach, L., Jones, M., Onslow, M., Packman, A., & Menzies, R. (2013). Effectiveness of the Lidcombe Program for early stuttering in Australian community clinics. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. 15, 593–603.