Progression of Language Complexity During Treatment With the Lidcombe Program for Early Stuttering Intervention The Lidcombe Program is an operant treatment for early stuttering. Outcomes indicate that the program is effective; however, the underlying mechanisms leading to a successful reduction of stuttering remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether fluency achieved with the Lidcombe Program was accompanied by concomitant reduction ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2005
Progression of Language Complexity During Treatment With the Lidcombe Program for Early Stuttering Intervention
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Christina Lattermann
    McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Rosalee C. Shenker
    McGill University and Montreal Fluency Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Elin Thordardottir
    McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • Contact author: Christina Lattermann, Woehrdstrasse 1, D-93059 Regensburg, Germany. E-mail: tina@lattermann.net
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Fluency Disorders / Language Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2005
Progression of Language Complexity During Treatment With the Lidcombe Program for Early Stuttering Intervention
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2005, Vol. 14, 242-253. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/024)
History: Received July 18, 2004 , Revised December 22, 2004 , Accepted July 26, 2005
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, August 2005, Vol. 14, 242-253. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2005/024)
History: Received July 18, 2004; Revised December 22, 2004; Accepted July 26, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 15

The Lidcombe Program is an operant treatment for early stuttering. Outcomes indicate that the program is effective; however, the underlying mechanisms leading to a successful reduction of stuttering remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether fluency achieved with the Lidcombe Program was accompanied by concomitant reduction of utterance length and decreases in linguistic complexity. Standardized language tests were administered pretreatment to 4 male preschool children. Spontaneous language samples were taken 2 weeks prior to treatment, at Weeks 1, 4, 8, and 12 during treatment, and 6 months after the onset of treatment. Samples were analyzed for mean length of utterance (MLU), percentage of simple and complex sentences, number of different words (NDW), and percentage of syllables stuttered. Analysis revealed that all participants presented with language skills in the average and above average range. The children achieved an increase in stutter-free speech accompanied by increases in MLU, percentage of complex sentences, and NDW. For these preschool children who stutter, improved stutter-free speech during treatment with the program appeared to be achieved without a decrease in linguistic complexity. Theoretical and clinical implications are discussed.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Health Professional Student Research Award and a McGill University Faculty of Medicine Winter Bursary to the first author. Additional funding was provided by the Alvin Segal Family Foundation. We would like to thank the parents and their children who participated in this research project. Special thanks to Karen Evans for her support with the linguistic analysis and to Sarita Koushik for her help with the data collection and discussion of treatment processes.
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