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
wondering if anyone else experiencing the same situation so was relieved to read your post wanting to challenge the research.  I have had a feeling for some time that Lidcombe was not going to stop my son stuttering altogether, but of course I hoped it would. My son was a week of turning three when he commenced Lidcombe (so pretty early, I was looking out for stuttering given his family history).  His first assessment he was assessed as mild to moderate but she said she wrote moderate due to the family history.  Then I had another son and my son overnight was unable to speak.  He was crying, pulling at his tongue and telling me he coud not speak.  It was heartbreaking, he went from full sentences to sigle words.  The therapy intitally helped of course and he was talking again soon.  He now mainly stutters full words and parts of sentences but intially showed all the stuttering behaviours including blinking and hand movements.

I of course blame myself for not implementing the programme correctly, but then my son will have a great week, and speak really fluently.  We are way, way past the median time and are still in stage one of the programme, as my son has not had four to six weeks of no stutters.  The first therapist contacted the stuttering unit at Sydney Uni to get  extra advice and we tried other things.  I have a lot of respect for the therapist.  She has indicated my son will probably always stutter to some extent, and I want to help him as much as possible, and I am really looking for the best way to do it.  I guess I am hoping for as much advice and gudiance as possible and have decided I will start reading about it all and will stay positive.


Satyendra said...

Unfortunate! Why are therapists doing this to children and families? Giving this hope, faith and belief in a final CURE? Is it just because health care professionals have been taught to offer HOPE no matter what? Is it shameful to accept one's limits, be sick or have a stammer?
Will therapists offer HOPE blindly even in case of Autism and Cerebral palsy? Why treat stammering differently and claim wonderful results for this therapy, that gadget? As I see, it is not only the pws and their families, which need to be a little humble and practice Acceptance, it is also the profession, the therapists who need to do the same- and help families and society to live with stammering..

Ora said...

Tom - I know that you've often criticized Lidcombe, sometimes in strong terms. However, I've never been sure whether you're critical of the method itself, or that you're critical that the Lidcombe proponents make exaggerated and unsupported claims.

Can you clarify your opinion of the Lidcombe method itself? Do you believe that it's fundamentally beneficial, or not?

Tom Weidig said...

I have consistently criticized:

- the claims made by Lidcombe on the efficacy of their treatment approach.
- their misuse of evidence-based practise by applying to a disorder that is far more complex than straight forward body illnesses.
- their way of attacking others and putting other treatment down just because they do not have evidence-based trials.
- their sloppy use of statistics.

A priori, I have nothing against what they try to do. Any intervention has the potential to shape learned behaviours and decrease symptoms. However, they will not re-wire the brain or anything like that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tom, it would be helpful for your readers to know what other clinically proven methodologies are available for stuttering treatment and their efficacy. Can you give those concerned parents a few pointers as to other proven clinically researched treatments (other than Lidcombe) they can investigate to help their young children?

eulyce said...

I am a speech Pathologist and do not use the Lidcombe program but never-the-less have had 45 years success with my treatment which was written up in the Speech Journal. I have retired now but would be happy to help you.