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									 PRESCHOOL
 STUTTERING
Information and resources for
people working with preschool
           children
                 Website
A survey of 100 preschool teachers by the
Stuttering Interest Group of the Speech
Pathology Association of Australia, identified a
need for stuttering information amongst
professionals working with younger children
(Block, Carey, Borg & Ross, 2006).

A website with resources for preschool teachers
and childcare workers has been designed to
help meet this need.
The Preschool Stuttering website


 www.latrobe.edu.au/hcs/projects/
       preschoolstuttering
    Presentation Outline


•What is stuttering?
•What are the causes?
•Facts about stuttering
•What treatment is available
•How you can help
      What is Stuttering?
The World Health Organisation (WHO)
defines stuttering as:

A “disorder in the rhythm of speech, in
which an individual knows precisely what
he wishes to say, but at the time is unable
to say it because of an involuntary,
repetitive prolongation or cessation of a
sound”.
Imagine there‟s a train line going from your
brain to your mouth. When you speak, the
train carries your message and delivers it
to your mouth smoothly.
Imagine there are rocks on this track from
your brain to your mouth. The train now
gets stuck and makes it harder for the
message on your train to reach it‟s
destination.
That’s what it’s like to stutter.

Getting the message from the brain to the
mouth is the tricky part.

You know what station you want to get to,
the train just can‟t get there.
  Description of Stuttering

Each child is different and will have a
different combination of stuttering
behaviours.
     Stuttering Behaviours
Repetitions

• Repetitions can occur at the start, middle,
  or end of a word or sentence, but most
  commonly at the beginning of the
  sentence.
• They are often what first comes to mind
  when thinking about typical stuttering
  behaviours and are quite easy to
  recognize.
    Stuttering Behaviours…
Repetitions: Examples
• Sound: „c-c-can I have some chocolate?‟
• Syllable: „can I have some choc-choc-choc-
  chocolate?‟
• Word: „can-can-can-can I have some
  chocolate?‟
• Phrase: „Can I - can I – can I have some
  chocolate?‟
• Sentence: „Can I have some chocolate? Can I
  have some chocolate?
    Stuttering Behaviours…
Blocking

• Occurs when there is a stoppage of airflow
  and therefore no sound comes out.
• The child may attempt to speak, but
  appears to struggle to get the words out.
• Usually occurs at the start of the word.
    Stuttering Behaviours…
Prolongation

• The child seems to „stretch‟ the sound out.
• It can occur on sounds in any position in
  the word or sentence and can vary in
  length.
• Example: „aeeeeeeeeroplane‟
    Stuttering Behaviours…
Interjections

• Also known as „fillers‟
• Interjections are the frequent insertion of
  words like „um‟ and „ah‟.
      Stuttering Behaviours…
Other behaviours may also occur.

These include things like:
  •   Tension and struggle in the face
  •   Lack of eye contact
  •   Body movements
  •   Avoiding particular words
  •   Avoiding particular situations
       Stuttering Behaviours…
There are times when a child who stutters may not
stutter at all. Particular situations when stuttering is
not likely to occur are when the child is:

   •   Whispering
   •   Singing
   •   Talking to animals and babies
   •   Talking alone
   •   Acting and putting on voices
        Normal Disfluency?
Not all children go through a period of normal
disfluency (disruption of flow), so any child who
is disfluent should be carefully monitored.

It is difficult to predict who will continue to stutter
and who will grow out of it. Therefore, if you hear
any disfluency (lasting 3-6 months), refer to a
Speech Pathologist.
     Facts about Stuttering
• There is no known single underlying cause
  for stuttering.

• Current thoughts are that “…stuttering is
  most likely due to some problem with the
  neural processing (brain activity) that
  underlies speech production” (ASRC,
  2006).
    Facts about Stuttering…

• Stuttering tends to run in families and is
  thought to have a genetic link.
• Affects three times as many boys than
  girls in preschool aged children
• Is not caused by parent interaction
• Is not a psychological problem
    Facts about Stuttering…
• Is not caused by anxiety. Certain
  situations when a child is anxious may
  exacerbate their stuttering behaviours,
  however being anxious does not cause
  stuttering.
• A child who stutters is no less intelligent
  than his or her peers.
• Fluency can fluctuate. Children may be
  more fluent on certain days that others.
              Treatment

• The most widely accepted and
  recommended stuttering treatment for
  pre-school children is the Lidcombe
  program.
• This program has shown to be effective
  through scientific studies that have
  demonstrated successful results lasting
  long after treatment has been concluded.
             Treatment…
• The Lidcombe program is a parent-based
  program which is most effective for
  preschool and early primary school-age
  children.
• The program focuses on reinforcement
  and rewards, and requires that the parents
  spend time each day at home talking with
  their child.
             Treatment…
• During weekly visits to a Speech
  Pathologist, the parent learns how to carry
  out the treatment and rate the child‟s
  speech performance each day.
• The Speech Pathologist supports, monitors
  the child‟s progress, gives parental
  feedback and adjusts the program to meet
  the individual child‟s needs.
                  Treatment…
• The Lidcombe program promotes fluent speech while
  maintaining and developing a child‟s confidence in
  speaking.

• The time taken to complete the treatment differs between
  children, but is usually within the range of 6 – 24 visits.

• After the treatment phase children are then placed on a
  maintenance program to ensure that fluency is
  maintained.

• Treatment for young children is fun and based around
  enjoyable activities.
       How you can help…
• Download the Stuttering Checklist: a
  resource available on our website which
  will help you identify stuttering.

• Observe the child over a couple of weeks.

• Record your observations of their speech
  behaviour.
         How you can help
Inform Parents:

• Tell the child‟s parents that you have
  noticed some stuttering.

• Ask the child‟s parents if they have noticed
  anything unusual at home or if they have
  had contact with a Speech Pathologist.
 DO NOT IGNORE THE
  PROBLEM – CHECK
WHETHER THE PARENTS
    ARE AWARE.

 IF IN DOUBT, REFER.
              Referral…

• Preschool Field Officer (PFO)
• Inclusion Support Facilitator (ISF)
  (formerly Children‟s Services Resource
  and Development Officers - CSRDO)
• General Practitioner
• Maternal Health Nurse
              Referral…
• Alternatively, parents can contact Speech
  Pathologists directly.
• Speech Pathologists can be found in local
  community health settings
               Referral…
La Trobe University Communication Clinic
also runs the Lidcombe Program
     Kingsbury Drive
     Bundoora, 3083
     Ph: 03 9479 1921
Parents may also contact the clinic for
further information.
For further information you can go to our
website:
  www.latrobe.edu.au/hcs/projects/
        preschoolstuttering
   General Communication
         Strategies:
• Allow the child adequate time to
  process what has been said and to
  answer questions.
• Ensure you have the child‟s eye contact
  when communicating with him/her.
• Reduce distractions and interruptions
  during conversations with the child.
   General Communication
         Strategies:
• Check whether other children are
  interrupting.
• Do not draw unnecessary attention to
  stuttering but acknowledge if the child is
  distressed by this.
• Continue to encourage the child the
  talk.
 YOU MAY BE THE FIRST
  PERSON TO IDENTIFY
     STUTTERING…

DON’T LET A CHILD TAKE IT
       TO SCHOOL.

								
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