Children Recovered From Stuttering Without Formal Treatment Perceptual Assessment of Speech Normalcy Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 1997
Children Recovered From Stuttering Without Formal Treatment
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Patrick Finn, PhD
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, 901 Vassar NE, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131
  • Roger J. Ingham
    University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Nicoline Ambrose
    University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
  • Ehud Yairi
    University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
  • Corresponding author: e-mail: pfinn@unm.edu
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 1997
Children Recovered From Stuttering Without Formal Treatment
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1997, Vol. 40, 867-876. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4004.867
History: Received August 28, 1996 , Accepted January 23, 1997
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 1997, Vol. 40, 867-876. doi:10.1044/jslhr.4004.867
History: Received August 28, 1996; Accepted January 23, 1997

Current evidence suggests that young children who recover from stuttering are essentially stutter-free. However, there is no evidence to indicate if their speech is perceptually indistinguishable from normally fluent peers or whether they retain perceptually unusual speech. One important example of recovery from stuttering is children who have recovered without receiving formal treatment. An investigation was conducted to determine if the speech of these children is perceptually different from the speech of children who have never stuttered. Speakers consisted of 10 preschool and early school-age children documented as recovered from stuttering without benefit of formal treatment. In a series of studies they were compared with 10 children who had never stuttered. Three groups of judges— sophisticated, unsophisticated, and experienced—were separately asked, using videotaped speech samples of the children, to decide which samples were from children who used to stutter. Results revealed that the children who recovered from stuttering were perceptually indistinguishable from the normal controls. The same result was obtained regardless of whether the samples were presented in paired-stimulus or single-stimulus mode. Two of the groups of judges were also instructed to rate the speech naturalness of the speech samples. The speakers were not distinguished on this measure either. Methodological issues and the implications of the findings are discussed.

Acknowledgments
Portions of this paper were presented by the first author at the Annual Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, New Orleans, LA, 1994. Preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by Grant #RO1 DC-00060 awarded to R. J. Ingham by the National Institutes of Health. This research was also supported in part by Grant #RO1 DC-00459 from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (PI: E. Yairi).
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