Wednesday, February 29, 2012

German book on stuttering therapy

Einar recommded a book to me from his German therapists. So if you speak German, check it out: here. Please note that Einar still stutters, but seems to be a happy communicator. Actually, he sometimes talks far too much! ,-)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Clearer thinking within the Lidcombe community

Finally, reason seems to have come to the Lidcombe community in the words of Ann Packmann's article Why does the Lidcombe Program “work”? Mary Kingston, the editor of the newsletter Lidcombe News, quite neatly summarizes the Lidcombe community's mental bias by asking Ann to answer how Lidcombe works and not whether Lidcombe works. She does not even contemplate the thought that Lidcombe could not work!

Ann answers the how question with "I don't know" and the whether question is very much watered down to a level that I can more or less agree with. She says many things that  I have been preaching all those years...

It's time that the Lidcombe community tones down its claims, and listen to Ann's words. And maybe it's also time that Ann and Mark Onslow should switch posts. She should be professor and he senior research fellow. ;-)

Here are her words together with my comments. Take the time to read carefully!
.... It is a topic that has intrigued me for years, as I am sure it has most

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Final Program of 3rd European Symposium Fluency Disorders

3rd European Symposium Fluency Disorders

March 9 & 10 2012
Lessius University College Antwerp

The finalized program is available on the website.

Alcohol and stuttering

A readers asked me how drinking affects my stuttering. I had a very clear answer. I am a teetotal and I just don't know! ,-)

Generally two things happen. You can get more relaxed, you think much less about what other people think about you, and your motor control goes down. So I expect moderate drinking to ease stuttering, and severe drinking to let you loose motor control.

To be honest, I am not sure about research findings. People taking any drugs (psychoactive substances) report changes in fluency, but it seems to be different for different people.

So share your experience with us! Any drug is allowed! ;-)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Between acceptance and improvement

A friend posted on facebook: "if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid" I invented a reply: "if you let a fish be a fish, he will never become a lion!"

Both statements are relevant for stuttering. I receive many emails from readers asking for advice, and I am drawn between both statements.

People who stutter have clearly a neuroanatomical weakness in the brain that makes us stutter. Nature did not gave us the ability of effortless speaking. Yet, we want to climb that tree, and feel frustrated, inferior, unfairly treated, and angry. Why should we react in such a way when we are not at fault! We should not judge ourselves with those who have "normal" brains.

However, acceptance is very close to resignation, and might prevent you from achieving your potential. I very strongly believe that the majority of the negative psychosocial reaction to stuttering is due to our interpretation of life, and not due to the stuttered speech. Our abnormal brain region does make us fear, doesn't make us be embarrassed, and doesn't prevent us from speaking up. We learned that as children as a natural reaction. We must strive to be a lion even if it's unachievable. Only then can we improve.

So a clear advice is that you should work on reducing your psychosocial reaction and accept that you are a fish. I can clearly say that my handicap now at 38 is far less than at 18 even though I still stutter (and probably not less).

Thursday, February 02, 2012

TED Talk on Stuttering

TED is famous for interesting thought provoking speeches. Many side TEDs have developped over the years, for young talents and for regions for example. This TEDxNewy talk is on Lidcombe treatment by Sarita Koushik. I know her, because we meet at the Oxford Conference some years again, and were part of the happy party gang. She is a nice person, but I must say that she has unfortunately been indoctrinated by the Lidcombe way of doing research. Her talk is very much in-line with the highly doubtful statistical approach to evidence based practise. Her research involves finding the optimal treatment schedule, and very likely a fata morgana due to huge statistical fluctuations. You already need 100 kids to just test efficacy of treatment. So how do you compare between groups of different treatment length??? I am nearly convinced she is chasing a phantom...

And I am not sure I like her stuttering at the beginning, because she does not actually stutter. What is your opinion?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Mother blames herself for therapy failure

Here is another story of a mother where the Lidcombe magic did not work, and again she blames herself because the scientific outcome studies are so convincing.So it must be her fault:
I am a mother of a boy who just turned four and has been in Lidcombe for over a year.  We have barely missed an appointment in that time and I unless my son has been sick I have always implemented the home treatement.  We live in Australia and attend a private clinic in Sydney... I guess the family history is pretty strong. 

...  Am even a bit nervous writing to you and reading your site, as of course I want to believe my son will speak fluently forever aqnd never know he stuttered.  After another relapse, and my son still being in stage one of the programme after approximately 13 months of non stop weekly treatment I have started to wonder what is going on and if there is other treatment available.  Also