Article/Report  |   August 1999
Normative Disfluency Data for Early Childhood Stuttering
Author Notes
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech
Article/Report   |   August 1999
Normative Disfluency Data for Early Childhood Stuttering
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 1999, Vol.42, 895-909. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.895
History: Accepted 12 Mar 1999 , Received 28 Jul 1998
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research August 1999, Vol.42, 895-909. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4204.895
History: Accepted 12 Mar 1999 , Received 28 Jul 1998

Although the past 50 years of research on early childhood stuttering and normal disfluency have produced vital information on the general features of disfluent speech behavior of young children, an adequate normative reference for early stuttering does not exist. The purpose of this report is to provide such reference and to provide a basis for clinical needs of differential diagnosis of stuttering from normal disfluency. Data are presented from 90 stuttering children ages 2 to 5 within 6 months of stuttering onset and from 54 age-matched normally fluent children. Means for disfluency types are presented. No significant differences were found for gender or for age. Stuttering-like disfluencies (SLD) did differ significantly for the stuttering and fluent groups, but other disfluencies (OD) did not. A weighted SLD is defined to further clarify differences between the groups. The pattern of disfluency types for normally fluent and for mild, moderate, and severe stuttering is presented. Stuttering is shown to be qualitatively as well as quantitatively different from normal disfluency even at the earliest stages of stuttering. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

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