Stuttering in School-Age Children: A Comprehensive Approach to Treatment
PurposeThis letter, prepared through a close collaboration between the authors and more than 100 colleagues, responds to a paper by the editor of Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools that highlighted the need for research on treatment for stuttering in school-age children. MethodOur response addresses 3 themes: First, we offer agreement with the editor's call for research because more evidence about treatment for children who stutter is certainly needed. Second, we provide an overview of recent literature, demonstrating that the majority of current treatments include strategies for helping children improve speech fluency in addition to helping them increase acceptance of their stuttering and diminish the negative consequences of the disorder. Third, we present several strategies designed to help clinicians respond to the individual needs of children who stutter in a data-based, comprehensive manner that focuses on minimizing the adverse impact of stuttering on children's educational endeavors, and on their lives as a whole. ConclusionMuch has been learned about the factors that contribute to the successful treatment of stuttering in school-age children, and evidence will continue to accumulate. Meanwhile, speech-language pathologists can help children increase their fluency while simultaneously minimizing the adverse impact of their speaking difficulties and helping them improve their overall communication.