Title

Efficacy of the Lidcombe Program for Early Stuttering in a Public School Setting: A Pilot Investigation

Date of Award

5-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Major Professor

Ilsa Schwartz

Committee Members

Tim Saltuklaroglu, Mark Hedrick

Abstract

The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) To determine what type of early intervention for stuttering is being offered in the public schools and compare those interventions to the Lidcombe Program for early stuttering. 2) To find out if the Lidcombe Program can be effectively implemented in the public schools. A small focus group of speech language pathologists was conducted and a questionnaire was completed by 47 school speech language pathologists in Knoxville, TN. The questionnaire revealed that school clinicians have very little familiarity with the Lidcombe Program, most do not use any particular evidenced-based programs for fluency intervention, parents have very limited roles in the treatment of preschool students who stutter, and most children are not being identified for services until approximately third grade.

In order to determine if the Lidcombe program could be implemented effectively in the schools, one treatment subject, female, 4;5, received Lidcombe treatment for 10 weeks at her school while a control subject, male, 5;3, received traditional therapy from his school SLP. The treatment subject decreased in severity from moderate to mild and her percent stuttered syllables (PSS) was reduced by 76% (from 25% to 6%). The control subject increased in severity from moderate-severe to severe and his PSS rose from 12% to 16%. As a result, it appears that the Lidcombe Program can be effectively implemented in the public schools and it would be extremely cost-effective for schools to use the program. Community education and SLP training, however, are essential to increase early identification and intervention of children who stutter.

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