Longitudinal Studies of Childhood Stuttering Evaluation of Critiques Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor  |   August 01, 2001
Longitudinal Studies of Childhood Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ehud Yairi
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Nicoline Grinager Ambrose
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Letters to the Editor
Letter to the Editor   |   August 01, 2001
Longitudinal Studies of Childhood Stuttering
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 867-872. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/069)
History: Received July 11, 2000 , Accepted February 19, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2001, Vol. 44, 867-872. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2001/069)
History: Received July 11, 2000; Accepted February 19, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3
Many changes in research methodologies and information pertaining to various aspects of stuttering have taken place in the past 75 years. Such changes have also occurred with respect to the onset and developmental course of the disorder in that early casual clinical impressions of natural recovery were replaced by cross-sectional studies. And these were later followed by more reliable longitudinal studies (e.g., Andrews & Harris, 1964) that still lacked tight procedures. Most recently came the Illinois studies that employed closer follow-ups and methods that generated comprehensive quantified data, including recorded speech samples and cross validation (Yairi & Ambrose, 1999). In spite of all the progress that has been achieved in the research methodology and strong, clear, and consistent empirical evidence from several teams for natural recovery, we regret that several scholars have maintained unenlightened perspectives on this issue. For example, Onslow and Packman (1999)  dismissed our work in an earlier letter, stating that the Illinois studies failed to show that even one child recovered without intervention. The Ingham and Bothe (2001)  letter joins these voices and seems to follow an established pattern. Twenty-five years ago, in a letter to the Editor of the Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders, Ingham (1976)  dismissed one of the most obvious ground-breaking studies recognized in the field, carried out by Andrews and Harris (1964), for reporting a high level of recovery. Then, in 1983, Ingham published a chapter entitled “Spontaneous Remission of Stuttering: When Will the Emperor Realize He Has No Clothes On?” and implied that many of us in the field simply cannot see the “truth” as he does. More recently, Ingham and Cordes (1999)  authored a chapter in which they characterized the field of stuttering, particularly our research as well as the clinical work of approximately 20 colleagues, under the ominous title, “On Watching a Discipline Shoot Itself in the Foot: Some Observations on Current Trends in Stuttering Treatment.” The contributions of all those investigators and clinicians were classified by Ingham and Bothe as “obstacles.”
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