Evidence-Based Treatment of Stuttering: Empirical Bases and Clinical Applications

By Anne K. Bothe | Go to book overview

7
Self-Change From Stuttering
During Adolescence
and Adulthood
Patrick Finn University of Arizona

It is generally accepted that most preschool and early school-age children who stutter will recover without the direct benefit of professional help, usually within the first few years of onset (Yairi & Ambrose, 1999). Recent studies have reported rates of unassisted recovery during early childhood ranging from 50% to 74% (e.g., Brosch, Haege, Kalehne, & Johannsen, 1999; Mansson, 2000; Yairi & Ambrose, 1999). This recovery is often so complete that the children's recovered speech is perceptually indistinguishable from that of normally fluent children (Finn, Ingham, Ambrose, & Yairi, 1997).

It is also widely believed that early childhood stuttering is highly responsive to professional intervention (Curlee, 1999a). Numerous studies have reported on the benefits of treatment for early childhood stuttering, although few are actually supported by scientific evidence (Cordes, 1998). Still, a high percentage of school speech-language pathologists (70%) agree that they are successful in treating preschool children who stutter (Brisk, Healey, & Hux, 1997) and treatment research shows that management of early childhood stuttering often requires minimal treatment time and usually results in satisfactory, long-term outcomes (e.g., Onslow & Packman, 1999).

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