LSHSS Clinical Forum on the Treatment of Stuttering in Children


Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools published a new Clinical Forum: Treatment of Stuttering in Children. The forum is intended to address the frustrations felt by researchers and clinicians arising from the lack of well-controlled outcome studies examining and contrasting the effectiveness of various stuttering interventions. Most previous studies of stuttering treatment have focused on two differing approaches: fluency shaping and stuttering modification.  Yet, as indicated in the introduction to the forum, the results from the available comparison studies of these approaches do not clearly indicate a significantly greater success rate for any single approach. This lack of clarity has led some researchers to suggest clinicians rely solely on their clinical expertise to select the approach they believe is best suited to the individual child.

As Byrd and Donaher note in the introduction to the forum, “Evidence-based practice dictates that clinicians integrate the latest scientific evidence with their clinical expertise and the values of the family into the clinical decision-making process. The present clinical forum is intended to show how four fluency experts do just that.”

As demonstrated in articles by Nippold (2018) and Bernstein Ratner (2018) addressing best practice for a preschooler who stutters and Both Marcotte (2018) and Coleman (2018) on their approaches to addressing an adolescent who stutters, “clinical decision making routinely involves integrating aspects of various approaches based on the specific needs of the individual and their family. In addition to drawing on their experiences, the four authors offer evidence to support their perspectives, with the goal to facilitate much needed discussion and understanding of the diversity in treatment approaches.”

Readers are invited to explore the articles in this clinical forum, consider the evidence presented, and decide for themselves how they would proceed in applying the best available research evidence to clinical practice.

Explore the Clinical Forum

Byrd, C. T., & Donaher, J. (2018). Best practice for developmental stuttering: Balancing evidence and expertise. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 1–3.

Nippold, M. A. (2018). Stuttering in preschool children: Direct versus indirect treatment. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 4–12.

Bernstein Ratner, N. (2018). Selecting treatments and monitoring outcomes: The circle of evidence-based practice and client-centered care in treating a preschool child who stutters. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 13–22.

Marcotte, A. K. (2018). Evidence, goals, and outcomes in stuttering treatment: Applications with an adolescent who stutters. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 23–32.

Coleman, C. E. (2018). Comprehensive stuttering treatment for adolescent children: A case study. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 49, 33–41.

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