Choosing a Treatment Procedure for Early Stuttering Issues and Future Directions Research Article
Research Article  |   October 01, 1992
Choosing a Treatment Procedure for Early Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Mark Onslow
    School of Communication Disorders The University of Sydney Australia
  • Contact author: Mark Onslow, School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, PO Box 170, Lidcombe NSW 2141, Australia.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   October 01, 1992
Choosing a Treatment Procedure for Early Stuttering
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 983-993. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.983
History: Received January 11, 1991 , Accepted December 3, 1991
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 1992, Vol. 35, 983-993. doi:10.1044/jshr.3505.983
History: Received January 11, 1991; Accepted December 3, 1991

The new responsibility of speech-language pathologists to provide direct, early intervention for stuttering creates a further responsibility for them to choose justifiable treatment procedures for that intervention. This paper has two purposes. The first is to encourage clinicians to evaluate the conceptual and practical aspects of the treatments they use for early stuttering. The second purpose of the paper is to overview available early intervention procedures and consider the advantages, disadvantages, and prominent issues associated with each. The procedures considered are environment manipulation, prolonged speech, and response-contingent stimulation. It is concluded that clinicians have no cause to be satisfied with any currently available early intervention procedure. Further, it is concluded that (a) although anticipatory struggle theories have made a useful contribution to scholarship, their line of theoretical reasoning is questionable for clinical practice; (b) although theoretically sound for the purpose, variants of prolonged speech pose prohibitive conceptual and practical shortcomings if they are used to treat very young stuttering children; (c) despite its disadvantages, response contingent stimulation is the most conceptually and practically justifiable method for early intervention with stuttering.

Acknowledgments
The author gratefully acknowledges the Input of colleagues over a number of years who assisted in the formation of many of the ideas that appear in this paper. From the Stuttering Unit at Lidcombe Hospital, Sydney, Australia, thanks are due to Leanne Costa, Cheryl Andrews, and Elisabeth Harrison. From the School of Communication Disorders, The University of Sydney, Australia, thanks are due to Ann Packman. Comments from Gerald Siegel regarding an early version of the manuscript were invaluable.
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