Saturday, April 30, 2011

Part of the problem

Here is an analogy that captures an important aspect of stuttering: the swallowing-a-pill analogy.

When you drink water, you swallow the water without a problem. When you have to swallow a pill, you might choke on the pill. Being aware of swallowing makes us choke.

Being aware of stuttering makes the stuttering worse.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Guitar calls Lidcombe critics ridiculous

Barry Guitar launched a frontal attack on those who are doubting Lidcombe in this radio interview on NPR. The journalist Jane Lindholm asks Guitar why some doubt the evidence base of Lidcombe due to small sample siz. He says that "This is the most ridiculous critique you can imagine". Check at 7:30 minutes. He refers to 100 studies showing efficacy with gold standards. He says that critics don't want to see 100 studies but 1000s studies. He also says that other treatments have no evidence at all that they work.

He falls into the common traps:

(a) equating perceived success in an outcome trial with success of the method itself. (it could well be that other treatments are as effective, and success is not due to Lidcombe specific issues.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fraud and weak research

Maybe you heard of the scandal where a study "established" a link between vaccination and autism, and parents (mostly mothers) in the UK went nuts and stopped vaccination. This study has now been severely discredited.

Ora made me aware of an interesting article about the quality of scientific research in the psychological and social research area. See Lehner's article.
An interesting article in the New Yorker magazine about a phenomenon in scientific studies. 
Before the effectiveness of a drug can be confirmed, it must be tested and tested again. Different scientists in different labs need to repeat the protocols and publish their results. The test of replicability, as it’s known, is the foundation of modern research. Replicability is how the community enforces itself. It’s a safeguard for the creep of subjectivity. Most of the time, scientists know what results they want, and that can influence the results they get. The premise of replicability is that the scientific community can correct for these flaws.
But now all sorts of well-established, multiply confirmed findings have started to look increasingly uncertain. It’s as if our facts were losing their truth: claims that have been enshrined in textbooks are suddenly unprovable. This phenomenon doesn’t yet have an official name, but it’s occurring across a wide range of fields, from psychology to ecology.
I suggest you read the first page (screen) and then stop and think hard what might account for this effect, before you read the rest of the article.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More of the Australian gold standard

Here is an article for all those that claim that Lidcombe never claims to work magic.Even if you argue that the journalist got it wrong and they don't claim cures, you must wonder how the journalist came to the idea of "cure". This fits well into the last post where the therapist suspected the child's family to be the cause of the "non-cure", because she too was indoctrinated with the "cure". Here is the article.
Online remedy for stuttering
Nick Galvin
May 2, 2010

Relief may be at hand for millions of people around the world who stutter, thanks to the pioneering work of Australian experts.

The Australian Stuttering Research Centre in Sydney has won a federal grant of nearly $5 million to develop a system that sufferers can access via the internet. The simple program has cured pre-schoolers in 12 weeks.

''Parents ask kids every now and then to say what they just said without the stutter,'' centre director Professor Mark Onslow said. ''It works amazingly well but the problem is that there aren't enough speech pathologists to deal with all the kids who are stuttering.''

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Tom: You have been out-handicapped

As you might know, I am an active member in Toastmasters, and regularly participate in contests. Last Saturday, I participated in the Area contest (after the club contest) but I didn't make it to the first three of eight. All eight were very good speeches. I spoke about The King's Speech. An Indian guy won with a speech on Mr Impossible who tells us not to try, and he had polio as a child leaving him with difficulties in walking. He had a very good theme, and comes across as a very nice guy and relaxed speaker. After the contest, someone came to me and said that he liked my speech, but said that I should move and speak of other topics than stuttering, which I agree with, and he finished off by saying: "Tom, great speech but you have been out-handicapped". ;-)

In any case, everyone liked my speech, so here it is:
You helped me find my voice

In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken as I were able to cross your

Friday, April 01, 2011

Lidcombe never fails, only parents do

Here is a comment from a mother in which she says the therapist blames them for the relapse, because Lidcombe works so it must be the parents:
Hi, my son has been on the Lidcombe therapy for 3 months seeing a SLP almost every week in that time. We saw a big improvement for the first few weeks but after that his stutter pattern has returned to how it was before, some days really bad and then a gradual decrease to hardly any problems and then over the next week it becomes worse again. It seems now the therapist is at a loss at to what to do and seems convinced something is happening at home to make it keep getting worse and then better which is insulting. She has blamed my husband because hes in the army and works away alot, then it was my eldest son because he left for uni, nursery, and now she seems to be pointing the finger at me, saying he has to much of an attachment to me (surely if this was the case I wouldnt be able to leave him at nursery). Im so frustrated with the whole experience and feel were no further towards helping him that we were before we started the course. I hope other people have a better and more productive experince from this course. I feel it is more suited for children with less severe stutters xx