How Stuttering Treatment Works

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How Stuttering Treatment Works

When you notice your child begins to stutter, often the first thing parents are desperate to find out is how to help their child with this problem. 

These days, children who stutter are very fortunate - as there are treatments that exist that are very effective in overcoming this problem. The most important thing is to get help as soon as possible, because the earlier we intervene, often the more successful treatment can be. Learn more about why early intervention is so important. 

There are two main treatment approaches that are currently available for children’s stuttering. These include “direct” and “indirect” treatment. At present, many clinicians  choose to treat stuttering with either one of the two available approaches. 

This article will outline the similarities between the two treatment approaches, and discuss the possible benefits of combining these treatment approaches to make treatment more successful.

Direct Treatment for Stuttering

Direct treatment approaches for childhood stuttering aim to reduce stuttering by providing “direct” feedback to the child about their speech. This feedback is given to the child when they stutter and also when they speak fluently (i.e., without a stutter). For example, a child might be told that their speech is “bumpy” when they stutter, and “smooth” whey they speak without a stutter. Treatment principles in direct treatment ultimately aim to stop the child from “practising” the stutter.

Direct stuttering treatment is known to be effective for approximately 75% of children.

Indirect Treatment for Stuttering

Indirect treatment approaches for preschool stuttering focus more on the child’s environment, than the child’s actual speech. Indirect treatment looks at different factors in the child’s environment that might be influencing their stutter. For example, parents might learn how to slow down their speech, and be encouraged to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere at home.

Similar to direct treatment, this approach is known to be effective for about three out of four children.

Are there similarities between these two treatment approaches?

Although many researchers and clinicians often focus on the differences between direct and indirect treatment, there are actually many similarities between the two treatment approaches. In both treatments:

  • parents are involved in all parts of the treatment process
  • parents receive education about stuttering 
  • reducing stuttering is a goal of treatment
  • parents acknowledge the child’s stutter, and
  • parents are trained to help their child with their stutter 

The commonalities between these two approaches suggest that combining direct and indirect treatment techniques, in a flexible and holistic way, may be more beneficial than having to choose between the approaches.

What’s next?

It is important to treat stuttering as soon as it starts. After a child has stuttered for more than 12 months, the chance of recovering is unfortunately less than 10%.

Dr Kerianne Druker has developed a world first, online toolkit designed to empower parents to treat their children’s stutter. This toolkit teaches parents how to overcome their child’s stutter using a mix of direct and indirect treatment techniques. These techniques have been found to be more than 90% effective in treating children’s stuttering, tested in Dr Druker’s PhD research. This shows that combining the two treatment approaches in a flexible way is actually more effective for treatment childhood stuttering than choosing one approach only!

Learn more about this toolkit, so you can start helping your child to overcome this disorder with state of the art treatment techniques.

Free eBook

A guide to understanding and treating your child’s stutter

Take a sneak peak of what the Stuttering Toolkit has to offer, and learn about the treatment principles that have proven successful for more than 90% of children who stutter.

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