For Immediate Release
Contact: Greg Wilson
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 10, 2013) – The headlines about a new Australian study on preschoolers’ stuttering are creating concerns for the Stuttering Foundation.
“Headlines heralding ‘Preschoolers’ Stuttering Not Harmful’ send a mixed message to parents – one that could be troublesome for children who stutter. Our biggest concern is that parents will just see this headline,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “For decades, we have advocated that parents should gather credible information about stuttering and seek early intervention. But these headlines seem to indicate there is little cause for concern or no immediate need to seek help. In many cases, this approach is just not acceptable.”
Fraser also discussed further concerns with the new study. “One problem with the data is that it stops at age four, just when one might expect to see some harmful effects from stuttering. In addition, the study includes only 142 children. It is far too early to interpret the findings because we do not know how many of these children will continue to stutter and what effects it will have on them and their lives.”
For more than six decades, the Stuttering Foundation has provided guidance, support and materials to parents of children who stutter. Current, timely and accurate information for parents about children and stuttering is now available in a new 16-minute video titled, “7 Tips for Talking with the Child Who Stutters” available from the Stuttering Foundation.
“Through our website, www.StutteringHelp.org, and a DVD being sent to more than 50,000 pediatricians, we have made the leading voices on preschool stuttering available to parents around the world to answer their tough questions and offer practical strategies parents can use to support their young child’s communication skills and build confidence.”
The video features some of the world’s leading hands-on therapists working with preschool children who stutter. They include Lisa A. Scott, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, of The Florida State University’s School of Communication Science and Disorders; Ellen Kelly, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; speech-language consultants Frances Cook,MBE, MSc, MRCSLT (Hons), Cert CT (Oxford), Willie Botterill, MSc, MRCSLT, Cert CT and Elaine Kelman, MSc, MRCSLT, Cert CBT from the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children in London.
“I believe this video will make a real difference for parents who are anxious and feel helpless when their child first begins to stutter,” added Fraser. “They often think it is their fault and wonder what they have done wrong. This video should help ease their fears while focusing their efforts on doing things that will help the child right away.”