The Lidcombe Program for Early Intervention in Stuttering has been credited with eliminating the progression of stuttering in preschool aged children within an average 11 treatment hours, with fluency being maintained for up to 4 years. The ongoing success of the Montreal Fluency Centre in treating stuttering can be attributed to its continuous clinical performance evaluation and to encouraging parents to be partners in treatment.
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Thanks to the Centre’s founder Dr. Rosalee Shenker, children can receive effective treatment for stuttering. In 1998, she began using the Lidcombe approach, which was developed by Dr. Mark Onslow, the director of the Australian Stuttering Research Centre at the University of Sydney. This approach focuses on teaching parents to notice and gently comment on their child’s speech when they are at home. Parents learn how to give this feedback during visits with a speech pathologist.
Parents are trained to praise their children when they speak without a stutter, to occasionally correct a stutter using simple language and a soft-spoken tone, and to measure improvement in a child’s fluency at home. “It makes a lot of sense to make parents part of the solution because one hour of therapy a week is not effective for a problem that persists outside the clinic for the rest of the week,” Shenker said.