School-age children can do the adult stuttering therapies including fluency shaping and DAF. The difference between school-age children and adults is who should provide the therapy. A 1996 study divided 98 children (9 to 14 years old) into four groups:
- Fluency shaping in a speech clinic.
- Teaching fluency shaping to the parents, who then provided therapy to their children.
- GILCU with EMG biofeedback. The children went to a speech clinic and used electronic devices, with minimal therapy from the SLPs.
- A control group didn’t receive any stuttering therapy.
Post-treatment, all three treatments were effective. However, one year later the percentage of children with disfluency rates under 2% stuttered syllables were:
- 48% of the children who’d had therapy in the speech clinic were fluent.
- 63% of the children who’d had home-based therapy were fluent.
- 71% of the children who’d done therapy with the EMG devices were fluent.
The results for disfluency rates under 1% were even more striking:
- 10% of the children from the clinic-based program.
- 37% of the children who’d been treated by their parents.
- 44% of the children who’d used the EMG devices.
This study suggests that parents of school-age children should consider doing fluency shaping therapy at home using electronic devices. For more information see our free e-book Stuttering in Children—From Toddlers to Teenagers.
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