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Unlocking the Potential: How to Improve Skills in Treating School-Age Children Who Stutter

Unlocking the Potential: How to Improve Skills in Treating School-Age Children Who Stutter

As a practitioner in the field of special education, staying informed about the latest research is crucial to providing the best possible care for students. The research article "Treatment Effectiveness for School Age Children Who Stutter" by Sarah M. Smits-Bandstra and William S. Yovetich offers valuable insights into effective treatment strategies for children who stutter. This blog will explore the key findings of the study and provide actionable steps to help practitioners improve their skills in treating school-age children who stutter.

Understanding the Research

The study utilized a single-participant design to assess treatment efficacy for five school-aged children who stutter. Three experimental participants received treatment, while two served as no-treatment comparison participants. Outcome measures included:

The results indicated that the experimental participants showed moderate improvements in fluency and speech attitudes compared to the no-treatment participants.

Key Findings

The study highlighted several important points:

Actionable Steps for Practitioners

Based on the findings of the study, here are some steps practitioners can take to improve their skills in treating school-age children who stutter:

1. Incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The study found that a combined cognitive behavioral therapy program was partially effective in alleviating both behavioral and attitudinal stuttering symptoms. Practitioners should consider incorporating CBT techniques such as self-monitoring, facilitating positive attitudes, and desensitization.

2. Focus on Attitude Change

Negative attitudes toward speaking can lead to relapse. Ensuring that therapy addresses these attitudes is crucial for long-term success. Tools like the Communication Attitude Test-Revised (CAT-R) can be useful in measuring and tracking changes in speech attitudes.

3. Provide Intensive or Semi-Intensive Programs

For children with severe stuttering, more intensive or semi-intensive programs may be necessary. The study suggests that programs with at least 100 hours of therapy are more likely to yield substantial gains.

4. Use Valid Outcome Measures

Incorporate a variety of valid and reliable outcome measures, such as percentage of disfluent speech time, words per minute, and percentage of words stuttered per minute. Parent interviews and visual analogue rating scales completed by naïve judges can also provide valuable insights.

5. Continue Professional Development

Stay updated with the latest research and best practices by attending conferences, webinars, and workshops. Networking with other professionals in the field can also provide valuable insights and support.

By implementing these strategies, practitioners can improve their skills and provide more effective treatment for school-age children who stutter. Continuous learning and adaptation of new techniques will ensure that we are offering the best possible support to our students.

To read the original research paper, please follow this link: Treatment Effectiveness for School Age Children Who Stutter.

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