Friday, February 15, 2008

A Challenge to Lidcombe

I have been criticizing the Lidcombe random control trials in many posts (see for example here or search for Lidcombe in search bar) as not very convincing evidence due to methodological weaknesses and their uses as evidence to spread the message. It has been three years since the trials and the kids should now be at least 6 years old. I challenge them to publish data from those 50 or so kids that underwent treatment. How many are still stuttering? At ISA in Croatia, I or someone else asked Mark Onslow this question, and his answer was not very clear, but I recall something like "There are about 70%-80% fluent. So maybe Tom is somewhat right..." I didn't follow up as I should have.

So again: What has happened to those 50 kids? What the Lidcombe people should do is the following: Ask an INDEPENDENT researcher to look at those 50 kids and evaluate their speech, and then make the results public. If all or nearly all kids are fluent, I will been more convinced about the efficacy. So if any of you hears someone cite the random control trial, ask the speaker whether three years later an independent person has confirmed that nearly all are now fluent!

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