Treatment of Early Childhood Stuttering Advances and Research Needs Second Opinion
Second Opinion  |   August 01, 1998
Treatment of Early Childhood Stuttering
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Richard Curlee
    University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Ehud Yairi
    University of Illinois, Champaign
  • Contact author: Richard Curlee, University of Arizona, Hearing and Speech Sciences Bldg., Tucson, AZ 85721-21001 E-mail: Curleer@u.arizona.edu
    Contact author: Richard Curlee, University of Arizona, Hearing and Speech Sciences Bldg., Tucson, AZ 85721-21001 E-mail: Curleer@u.arizona.edu×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Second Opinions
Second Opinion   |   August 01, 1998
Treatment of Early Childhood Stuttering
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1998, Vol. 7, 20-26. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0703.20
History: Received April 29, 1998 , Accepted June 22, 1998
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 1998, Vol. 7, 20-26. doi:10.1044/1058-0360.0703.20
History: Received April 29, 1998; Accepted June 22, 1998
First, we wish to express our appreciation to Drs. Ingham and Cordes (1998)  and Packman and Onslow (1998)  for raising issues and concerns about an earlier article of ours on intervention with early childhood stuttering (Curlee & Yairi, 1997), which are now the focus of discussion. Their responses provide us yet another chance to clarify and expand views that may have concerned other readers as well. Dialogues arising from the questions, concerns, and disagreements of respected colleagues are critical to the integrity of scientific disciplines and the health of professions whose clinical practice rests on the knowledge base of those disciplines. The ideas these authors present differ from our own for a number of reasons. Sometimes we drew different conclusions from examinations of the same data. We also believe that information about the natural course of development of stuttering in young children is more robust, at present, than information about the results of its treatment. Finally, we appear to hold different philosophies about the foundations of clinical practice. These kinds of disagreements are common when available data are not sufficient to rule out alternative interpretations with confidence. Thus, our differences in opinion actually confirm the central argument advanced in our article, “additional scientific evidence is needed to support treatment decisions and the procedures used with childhood stuttering” (Curlee & Yairi, 1997, p. 15). We echoed this viewpoint in a follow-up letter that again cited “the critical need for sound, scientific, longitudinal clinical studies of early childhood stuttering, its natural patterns of progression and remission, and the efficacy of early and later treatment interventions” (Yairi & Curlee, 1997, p. 86). Further examination and discussion of the issues and concerns raised by these colleagues are organized, with one exception, under the topic headings used by Ingham and Cordes to facilitate consideration.
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