Treating preschool stuttering takes time, but 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 has been lots of research to find out how many clinic visits are needed to help children to have no stuttering or nearly no stuttering. The summary of this research is that it takes approximately 16 -19 clinic visits for children to attain smooth or near completely smooth stutter free speech, before entering stage 2 of the program, with a range of 11–23 clinic visits.
The length of treatment varies considerably and depends on many factors including:
- How quickly parents can be trained to do the program
- The ability of parents to implement the program effectively.
- The severity of the child’s stutter- children with more severe stuttering generally take longer to treat.
If you are concerned that your child might be stuttering, it is important that you have them reviewed by a speech pathologist, as stuttering is treated most effectively in the preschool years, at least a year before starting school.
At Eastside Speech we use the Lidcombe Program to treat children’s stuttering. All of our therapists are trained and experienced in this program. For more information about our Stuttering Therapy for Children get in touch with one of our Speech Pathologists today on 02 9313 8980.
Jones, M., Onslow, M., Harrison, E., & Packman, A. (2000). Treating stuttering in young children: Predicting treatment time in the Lidcombe Program. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 43, 1440–1450.
McCulloch, J., Swift, M. C., & Wagnitz, B. (2016). Case file audit of Lidcombe program outcomes in a student-led stuttering clinic. International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 19, 165–173.