Stuttering is a disorder of speech production that can interfere significantly with communication and therefore with social, educational, vocational, and most other life activities. It is widely acknowledged that children are more likely to recover from stuttering than adults, but whether their recovery should be attributed to the nature of the disorder, to naturally occurring environmental factors, or to parent- or clinician administered treatment remains a much more difficult question to answer. The studies to be completed under this grant, therefore, will focus on the relationships among measurement, judge training, treatment, and recovery for preschool children who stutter, under two specific aims: I. Measurement systems for the speech of children who stutter will be developed and validated; and II. The parameters and the effects of parent-administered consequences for young children's stuttering will be evaluated. Studies to be conducted under Specific Aim I will identify exemplars of preschool children's stuttered and nonstuttered speech, based on the repeated judgments of 10 internationally recognized, authoritative judges; adapt an existing computer-driven response-contingent judge-training program to use the obtained exemplars of children's speech, and determine whether the resulting Child Training program is necessary and sufficient for training judges to provide valid and reliable data about children's stuttering; and develop an internet-available version of the Training program to compare results from students, clinicians, and parents in multiple sites. Studies to be conducted under Specific Aim II will then make use of the measurement training program and the external measurement validation system, as developed under Specific Aim I, to determine whether children who appear to recover from their stuttering without formal treatment receive more speech-related consequences from their parents than do children who do not recover; to compare the effectiveness, effects, and efficiency of three parent-training, parent-administered treatment programs for young children's stuttering; and to determine whether maintenance results are similar for children who recover from their stuttering with and without clinician-directed intervention. Together, the studies to be conducted under this grant should have substantial impact both on the discipline's knowledge about stuttering and on the management options that can be recommended to parents as well-supported choices for their children.
|Davidow, Jason H; Bothe, Anne K; Bramlett, Robin E (2006) The Stuttering Treatment Research Evaluation and Assessment Tool (STREAT): evaluating treatment research as part of evidence-based practice. Am J Speech Lang Pathol 15:126-41|