There is a substantial amount of literature reporting the incidence of phonological difficulties to be higher for children who stutter when compared to normally fluent children, suggesting a link between stuttering and phonology. In view of this, the purpose of the investigation was to determine whether, among children who stutter, there are relationships between phonological skills and the initial characteristics of stuttering. That is, close to the onset of stuttering, are there differences in specific stuttering patterns between children who exhibit minimal and moderate phonological deviations in terms of frequency of stuttering and length of stuttering events? Twenty-nine preschool children near the onset of stuttering, ranging in age from 29 to 49 months, with a mean of 39.17 months, were divided into two groups based on the level of phonological ability: minimal phonological deviations and moderate phonological deviations. The children’s level of stuttering-like disfluencies was examined. Results revealed no statistically significant differences in the stuttering characteristics of the two groups near onset, calling into the question the nature of the stuttering-phonology link.
Twenty seven school-age children participated in this study. There were thirteen children who stutter (CWS) and fourteen normally-fluent children. Participants were between the ages of 8:0 and 14:0. Each child participated in an acoustic startle response task, and caregivers completed a standardized temperament/personality assessment on their child. Results: Results indicated that CWS do not demonstrate statistically significant higher levels of physiological reactivity, as measured by mean normalized RMS amplitude of startle response scores, compared to their fluent peers. Further, there was no statistically significant correlation between subscale scores on standardized temperament/personality assessments. Conclusions: Improving on methodologies of past studies, the present investigation employed epidemiologically-sound groups, as well as clearly-delineated and replicable EMG procedures, normalization of EMG data, and neurophysiological measures of temperament combined with caregiver temperament questionnaire. Findings are in contradiction to several studies that have reported higher levels of trait anxiety or "nervousness" in adults who stutter.
The focus on parent counseling following the initial evaluation of young children who stutter is not a new direction. The purpose of this article is to summarize core components regarding addressing the questions of parents of children who stutter. Methods: This analysis of scientific literature provides a guide to responding to these principal questions about childhood stuttering using research data and counseling methods. Results: Given the breadth and depth of the past literature in this area, it is important to understand that the therapeutic relationship with the family of a preschooler who stutters begins at the initial evaluation. As a result, clinicians should work to achieve a dialogue that strikes a balance of encouraging parents to take proper action, easing irrational fears, and instilling hope of realistic, positive communication results. Conclusions: Achieving an equilibrium of motivation and assuredness during these tough conversations warrants skills in counseling-based approaches.
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