Syllable-timed speech treatment for school-age children who stutter: A phase I trial

Cheryl Andrews, Sue O'Brian, Elisabeth Harrison, Mark Onslow*, Ann Packman, Ross Menzies

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This clinical trial determined the outcomes of a simple syllable-timed speech (STS) treatment for school-age children who stutter. Method: Participants were 10 children, ages 6-11 years, who stutter. Treatment involved training the children and their parents to use STS at near normal speech rates. The technique was practiced in the clinic and at home with the parents during everyday conversations. Results: Nine months after commencing treatment, stuttering had decreased by >50% for half of the children, with 2 children attaining 81% and 87% reduction. Intention-to-treat analysis showed a clinically and statistically significant reduction in stuttering for the group even when a withdrawn participant was included. These results were mostly confirmed by self-reported stuttering severity ratings and were supported by improved situation avoidance and quality-of-life scores. There was considerable individual variation in response to the treatment. Conclusion: STS shows promise as a treatment for some schoolage children who stutter. As a fluency technique, it is simple to learn and simple to teach, and the children in this study appeared to enjoy the treatment. The efficacy of the treatment could likely be improved with modifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-369
Number of pages11
JournalLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


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