Language Production Abilities of Children Whose Stuttering Persisted or Recovered This study evaluated the language production capabilities of 32 young children whose stuttering followed divergent paths: one group whose stuttering persisted, one group who stuttered relatively briefly and recovered, and one group who stuttered for a longer period prior to recovery. Three indices of language production (mean length of utterance, ... Research Article
Research Article  |   April 01, 1997
Language Production Abilities of Children Whose Stuttering Persisted or Recovered
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ruth V. Watkins
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ehud Yairi
    Department of Speech and Hearing Science University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   April 01, 1997
Language Production Abilities of Children Whose Stuttering Persisted or Recovered
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 385-399. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.385
History: Received June 19, 1996 , Accepted November 1, 1996
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, April 1997, Vol. 40, 385-399. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4002.385
History: Received June 19, 1996; Accepted November 1, 1996

This study evaluated the language production capabilities of 32 young children whose stuttering followed divergent paths: one group whose stuttering persisted, one group who stuttered relatively briefly and recovered, and one group who stuttered for a longer period prior to recovery. Three indices of language production (mean length of utterance, number of different words, and number of total words) were obtained from spontaneous language samples. Measures of language production were calculated from samples collected at an initial visit near stuttering onset and at a one-year follow-up visit. Results revealed that the majority of the children who stuttered performed within the average range on these measures of language production. One child, a child whose stuttering persisted, consistently performed below the average range on all measures. Comparison of the three groups revealed greater variability, as well as atypical patterns of development, in the language production skills of children whose stuttering persisted. These findings suggest that although language production deficits do not appear to be widespread in children who stutter, examination of individual patterns of performance is central to clarifying the developmental relationship between language proficiency and the production of fluent speech.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders grant #2 R01 DC00459, Principal Investigator: Ehud Yairi. We appreciate the assistance of Nicoline Ambrose in data collection and management, Laura Segebart in the generation of figures, and Wendy Hollis in aspects of data analysis.
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