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Emerging topics in fluency research

During these sessions, young researchers are invited to discuss their research findings.

Victoria Tumanova

Affiliation: Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA

Title: Speech disfluencies of preschool-age children who do and do not stutter 

Victoria Tumanova, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Syracuse University studying childhood fluency disorders. The goal of her research is to further our understanding of the roles of temperament, and linguistic and speech-motor control abilities in the development of stuttering in young children.

Abstract: During the early stages of speech and language development important differences exist between children who do and do not stutter in terms of type and frequency of speech disfluencies. In this presentation new empirical data on speech disfluencies of preschool-age children will be discussed. Specifically, I will focus on significance of type and frequency of speech disfluencies to parental concern about stuttering, diagnosis of this disorder as well as to children's emotional reactivity during speech.


Sabine Van Eerdenbrugh

Affiliation: PhD student, Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Sydney, Australia

Title: The Internet Parent Training of the Lidcombe Program

Sabine van Eerdenbrugh trained as a SLT and clinical educator in Belgium and The Netherlands. She has worked in various paediatric settings in Belgium and Australia, treating children for communication disorders including stuttering. She is currently a PhD student in Sydney, Australia, and is developing an Internet version of the Lidcombe Program.

Abstract: The Lidcombe program is a treatment for preschool age children who stutter. Parents implement the treatment components with their child at home. A SLT trains the parent and supervises the treatment process during weekly clinic visits that are attended by the parent and child. This presentation will describe the development and trialling of a Lidcombe Program Parent Training package, which will soon be accessible on the Internet for both parents and SLTs. It is anticipated that SLTs will find this Training Package of great help to them in their clinical practice. The Parent Training package will be presented, with examples of training modules given. The main findings of a feasibility study, conducted with six parents of preschool age children who stutter, will be presented and discussed. The presentation will conclude with the clinical implications of this innovative clinical tool and possibilities for future research.


Susanne Cook 

Affiliation: University College London, UK

Title: Day-to-day experiences of CWS during a three-week intensive treatment

Susanne Cook is a speech therapist from Germany, with special interest in fluency disorders. 2007 she obtained a Master from University College London where she also completed her PhD in 2011 on "Affective factors, bullying, language and motor abilities in relation to treatment outcome for children who stutter".

Abstract: In this pilot study, the reaction of older children who stutter (CWS) to their own speech and their perception about how others reacted to them were examined. Day-to-day changes in perception of own-speech and emotional impact of others on their stuttering were assessed using a new questionnaire (Daily Questionnaire).  Nineteen CWS (mean age13.10 yrs, SD=2.8 yrs) participated in an intensive stuttering treatment and completed the Daily Questionnaire on 19 successive days. The Daily Questionnaire was shown to be valid and reliable as a way of assessing day-to-day experiences of CWS and the influence these experiences had on these children's lives. Factors were analysed using cross-lagged panel correlation. The results of the study will be presented and the consequences for the therapy process will be discussed. Co-Authors: Chris McManus, Chris Donlan & Peter Howell.


Jonathon Linklater

Affiliation: Univeristy of Limerick, Ireland

Title: Effectiveness of avoidance reduction therapy for adults who stutter

Jonathon Linklater, an Irish SLT and ECSF-graduate, stutters himself. He established an intensive therapy program called the Dublin Adult Stuttering (DAS) course in 2005. Jonathon is undertaking a PhD at the University of Limerick, with co-supervision from Trinity College Dublin. He is Chair of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists.

Abstract: Dublin Adult Stuttering (DAS) was established to provide an appropriate and accessible service for adults who stutter in the Eastern region of Ireland. Therapy studies reported may demonstrate short term effects but fail to show long term effects, with treatment often aimed at reducing overt symptoms. DAS focused on internationally established theoretical principles of avoidance reduction and stuttering more fluently (Sheehan 1975, Van Riper 1973). The process of therapy was client centered, realistic, and based on achievable goals. It addressed both the overt and covert features of stuttering, with a strong emphasis on client acceptance, empowerment and peer support. Outcomes from a number of self-report measures is reported. For example the Wright Ayre Stuttering Severity Profile (WASSP) (Wright & Ayre, 2000) and the LCB (Craig, Franklin and Andrews, 1984) demonstrated significant improvement at follow-up, compared to a non-treatment control. The positive effects of therapy are maintained at 24 months.


Jayanthi Sasisekaran

Affiliation: University of Minnesota, USA

Title: Effects of concurrent task demands on speech planning in typically fluent children and children who stutter

Dr. Sasisekaran is an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on psycholinguistic processes and their interaction with speech motor control in persons who stutter. 

Abstract: We investigated phonemic encoding and monitoring in a dual task paradigm. Twenty children (7 to 15 years) and ten adults, all typically fluent, performed a phoneme or rhyme monitoring task in a picture naming - written word interference paradigm. The complexity of the task was varied by manipulating the extent of phoneme or rhyme overlap between the name of the picture and the written word - replica (e.g., bed - bed), related (e.g., bed - bell), and unrelated (e.g., bed - cap) conditions. Participants also provided manual responses to tones presented at short or long stimulus onset asynchrony from picture onset. The younger and older groups were slower than adults in the monitoring tasks, although the younger group had more monitoring errors in the related condition. In the tone task, significant differences in both response time and percent errors were observed between the younger and the older groups. Pilot data from children who stutter will also be presented and the implications for fluent speech production will be discussed.