Saturday, January 01, 2011

Onslow on The King's Speech

Mark Onslow spoke reasonably about The King's Speech. He even managed not to mention Lidcombe, but claims that nowadays we know exactly what to do with adults and children who stutter. I am not so sure, but such claims obviously bolster the political capital of the speech and language therapist establishment. And he says that not minimizing stuttering at a young age creates terrible problems. I guess I would agree, but this statement also backfires in that by judging stuttering as a terrible problem he thereby creates part of the handicap experienced by people who stutter. No problem, no work?

But one mistake. He claims that Newton stuttered. This myth is just not dying out. I should create an award price. Five hundred for the person who proves to me that Newton stuttered!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reading some of your comments on Mark Onslow's talk cause me concern. There seems to be a lack of hard evidence from his work. Yet if I google on him and his co-worker Anne Packman (who appears to have been a student of his), we see that since 2002 they have brought in 11.3 million dollars in grant funding. I heard Onslow talk a long time ago in my country and his comment then alarmed me ... something along the line of he could not do a proper scientific design (ie and have a group of children who were given some placebo or alternative treatment to Lidcombe) as to leave them out might mean they suffered by not having their stammering cured. And then of course due to the passage of time, many children will talk more smoothly a couple of years later so if they happened to have had a Lidcombe treatment, these 'normal' disfluent kids gaining normal fluency will swell Onslow's group so-called success. And no doubt give him more grants. Australia is a small country but it must have a wealth of research money if its national research council gives 11.3 million over 7 years to a group that have NEVER advanced a testable theory about stuttering but simply re-hash other people's ideas and talk about Lidcombe and its variants, such as doing it over the internet. If you google their grants, there is only one that was to Packman and did not include Onslow on breathing and stuttering and it gave the impression that they might have had a theory at one time, but no doubt that was not a goer as I cannot find a single publication resulting from that grant.

All I can think is that they must have a lot of buddies in the community that appraises such grant applications - pity there were not more scientific appraisers in the stuttering community.