Authors: Onslow M, Costa L, Rue S
Title: Direct early intervention with stuttering: Some preliminary data
Source: Journal of Speech and Hearing Disorders 1990 55(3): 405-416
Year: 1990
Research Design: Single Case Design

Many clinicians recognize a need for direct intervention with cases of early stuttering. However, this recognition is not supported by adequate empirical information about how such cases should be managed. One possibility is that early stuttering might be controllable by parent-administered, operant, verbal stimulation procedures. The purpose of this paper is to present preliminary data that depict the results of such an intervention procedure with four cases of early stuttering. Speech measures were gathered in a variety of speaking situations, within and beyond the clinic, over a 2-month pretreatment period and a 9-month posttreatment period. Results showed that the 4 subjects achieved reductions in stuttering comparable to those reported for adult treatment programs. However, the present results were obtained in far fewer clinical hours than normally needed in the treatment for older subjects. The treatment times in the present study also compare favorably to those published in other reports of operant intervention procedures with children. These findings suggest that cases of early stuttering might be managed effectively by parents, with limited expenditure of clinical time. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for the development of early intervention programs that are more efficient and effective than existing intervention procedures for older clients.

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