A Mother’s Perspective: When Lidcombe Stuttering Treatment Does Not Work and the Importance of Tailoring Treatment to the Child and Family Unit (Ep. 512)

stuttering, StutterTalk
Claire Campbell and family

Claire Campbell joins Peter Reitzes to discuss her experiences with preschool stuttering treatment and her views on Speech Pathology Australia’s proposal to the Australian Government Department of Treasury.

Claire Campbell is an ethnobotanist in Fremantle, Australia, a PhD candidate and full time mother of two gorgeous children. Her eldest child, Wellington, is currently receiving stuttering treatment.

On today’s episode, Ms. Campbell reported that after ten Lidcombe sessions, it was clear to her family that Lidcombe stuttering treatment was not working for them and they needed to seek other treatment approaches. Ms. Campbell shared that her family initially sought publicly offered speech therapy and was informed that Lidcombe would be used and that her family was not offered a choice of treatments. When Ms. Campbell questioned the use and continued use of Lidcombe treatment she was informed that she needed to change her attitude and accept Lidcombe. When receiving Lidcombe treatment, Ms. Campbell shared that while her son Wellington did not stutter during the 15 minutes a day of special talking time (of parent-administered treatment), his decreased stuttering did not transfer to spontaneous speaking situations. Ms. Campbell shared that one of their speech-language pathologists using Lidcombe thought that Wellington would benefit more from other preschool stuttering treatments, but she was required to use Lidcombe because of government funding and the rules of her clinic. During Lidcombe treatment, Ms. Campbell explained that Wellington’s stuttering increased and became more severe.

Ms. Campbell was asked about an individualized and family centered stuttering treatment approach she is using now for Wellington with a speech-language pathologist she recently found. Ms. Campbell explained that her family is much more comfortable with this approach and feels able to include relatives and teachers in the treatment. In just a week, Ms. Campbell reported Wellington’s new treatment has had a great positive impact on the family and that Wellington is feeling empowered and is responding well to treatment. Ms. Campbell described this as a positive parent/child/clinician therapeutic relationship.

At the end of the episode, Ms. Campbell expressed expressed great concern regarding Speech Pathology Australia’s proposal to the Australian Government Department of Treasury. For background, Jane Fraser, President of the Stuttering Foundation, described the issue in a recent statement:

“Australia’s professional association for speech pathology has recently submitted a proposal to the Australian government seeking to provide reimbursement for only a single type of stuttering treatment, creating a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy for treating pre-school children who stutter. We find this proposal unthinkable and strongly oppose any policy action to limit choices to a single method by controlling government reimbursements for healthcare practitioners in any field…”

Ms. Campbell encouraged Speech Pathology Australia and professionals to consider the importance of each family unit when making treatment decisions and to “tailor treatment to the individual child.”

Related Links:

  • Kathy Viljoen’s letter to Speech Pathology Australia – link
  • Janet Beilby’s letter to Speech Pathology Australia – link
  • Speech Pathology Australia’s proposal/budget submission to the Australian Government for 2015-2016 – link
  • The Stuttering Foundation’s Response/Statement titled Another Blunder from Down Underlink
  • Craig Coleman’s post/petition – A Dangerous Precedent from Australia: What It Means and What Happens Nextlink
  • Speech Pathology Australia’s Response/Statement – link
  • Problem with “One Size Fits All” – link
  • Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children letter to Speech Pathology Australia – link
  • Craig Coleman’s ASHA blog post, A Controversial Proposal on Stuttering Treatment from Speech Pathology of Australia: What It Means and What Happens Next – link
  • ASHA blog post by Ann Packman, Mark Onslow and Deborah Theodoros – link
  • International Fluency Association Press Release – link
  • Lidcombe the only effective treatment in Australia? – link
  • Submission to the Community Affairs References Committee of the Senate – “An inquiry into the prevalence of different types of speech, language and communication disorders and speech pathology services in Australia” – link
  • A very important question to Onslow and Packman – link
  • Deborah Theodoros has been misinformed about the efficacy of Lidcombe – link
  • The Australian Budget Lidcombe Proposal Debate: A Primer in Memes – link
  • Chickens are Coming Home – link
  • StutterTalk Episode 502 – link
  • StutterTalk Episode 508 – link
  • StutterTalk Episode 509 – link
  • StutterTalk Episode 511 – link