Tuesday, June 10, 2008

50% late recovery rate!!!!

You should check out the article Late childhood stuttering by Howell et al from University College London. They write that nearly 50% of all stuttering children at age 8 recover! This result is a real surprise to me. I thought that the recovery is very low after age 7. (Actually, they all had treatement, so it is not really natural recovery...) You can read the full article here. Here is the abstract, but I suggest you read the real manuscript as the abstract is a bit vague.

A study was conducted that examined factors that lead children who stutter at around age 8 years to persist in the disorder when they reach age 12 years.

Seventy-six children were verified to be stuttering at initial assessment. When they reached 12 years of age, they were classified as persistent or recovered. A range of measures was taken at the 2 age points, and measures were examined by recovery group.

Although the tendency for more males than females to stutter was confirmed, the reasons for this tendency are not apparent for these speakers. Different patterns in speech were observed: Severity ratings of the recovered speakers dropped by age 12+. The severity ratings for the persistent speakers remained high at 12+, and dysfluency types tended to change from whole words to part words. Persistent and recovered speakers differed on temperamental performance at around age 8 years and performed differently on sensory and motor tasks at age 12+ years.

Stuttering in late childhood affects mainly males. The later a child attends clinic, the longer he or she will stutter. Speech patterns of children who persist diverge from those who recover or who are fluent. As speakers persist, there are temperamental, sensory, and motor changes.


Anonymous said...

Well, it all depends on what you mean by recovery. If you look at the definition of recovery it certainly doesn't mean symptom free.

Tom Weidig said...

I re-read the manuscript, but I cannot follow your argument. Except that they all had treatment and were tested one year later (which is not a natural recovery anymore). It says:

"Conversely, for a speaker to be considered to have recovered, he or she had to be confirmed as no longer stuttering at 12 years plus. (Further details of these designations are given below.) Twelve years plus was chosen because recovery was rare beyond this age"

And the details are:

"To be designated as persistent, the parent, child and researcher all had to designate the child as still stuttering and SSI-3 score at the time of the second assessment had to be 24 or greater. To be designated as recovered, the parent, child and researcher had to designate the child as not stuttering, SSI-3 score at the time of the second assessment had to be less than 24 and to show a drop between assessments of at least two points."