Predicting the length and effectiveness of stuttering treatment

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Predicting the length and effectiveness of stuttering treatment – A Research Update

When children start stuttering, parents often feel overwhelmed and uncertain about what to do. The most recent evidence highlights how important it is to treat stuttering as soon as possible, to maximise the chance of overcoming this problem. Learn more about the different types of treatment available for preschool stuttering. 

Once your child starts treatment, there are many questions from parents about how long it might take and how effective it might be. 

The first study in my PhD, published in 2020, looked at some different factors that help to predict the length of stuttering treatment for individual children. One particular factor that was explored in great detail were attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) traits. 

This study uncovered valuable prognostic information relating to stuttering treatment, and also highlighted how important it is to tailor stuttering treatment to suit each child and family. The outcomes of this research paper are summarised in this blog article. 

Research Method  

185 children who stutter participated in this study. All of these children had completed stuttering treatment within 3 months prior to data collection. A number of different factors were investigated, to test if they influenced the length of stuttering treatment and its effectiveness. Some of these factors included: 

  • ADHD traits 
  • Age of child at the start of treatment
  • Family history of a stuttering disorder
  • Gender 
  • Severity of stutter at the start of treatment 


A number of interesting findings came out of the study. These are summarised below:

  • A very large proportion (50%) of children who stutter were found to present with ADHD traits! 
    • Note - this does not mean all these children presented with diagnosable ADHD. It just means that 50% of the children in the study scored high enough on a questionnaire to be flagged with increased ADHD traits, compared to other children of a similar age and gender.
  • Children who had ADHD traits took much longer in stuttering treatment. They needed 25% more treatment sessions to overcome their stuttering problem. 
  • Children who were male, and/or had a more severe stutter at the start of treatment also took longer in treatment.
  • The child’s age and family history of stuttering did not appear to have an impact on the length of stuttering treatment.
  • On average, children had 12 stuttering treatment sessions. 

So what does this mean?

  • The large amount of children who also had ADHD traits suggests that these traits needs to be considered in stuttering treatment. 
  • We now have more information to provide to parents about how long stuttering treatment might take. 
  • Stuttering treatment HAS to be flexible, and tailored to suit each family. Treatments that are too structured may lack the ability to adapt techniques if the original techniques do not work for a particular child or family.   

What next?

Get immediate access to a flexible and tailored stuttering treatment program, that has found be more than 90% effective in overcoming stuttering disorders.

If you think your child who stutters may also have some behaviour challenges, contact me to discuss how we can support you to make stuttering treatment as effective as possible for your child.

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