Many in the Stuttering and SLP Communities Speak Out Against Australian Funding Proposal for “One Size Fits All” Treatment (Ep. 502)

Jane Fraser, Elaine KelmanCraig Coleman, and Bob Quesal join Peter Reitzes to discuss a recent proposal by Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) which has many professionals and people who stutter concerned. In an ASHA blog post, Craig Coleman explains this serious issue:

“Recently, Speech Pathology Australia (the national speech-language pathology association of Australia) submitted a proposal to the Australian Government Department of Treasury that would require Medicare rebates be made available for children who stutter, but only if they are treated using the Lidcombe Program.”

Much is said on today’s episode. Jane Fraser begins by sharing her experience at the Stuttering Foundation hearing from families who do not always find success using Lidcombe Treatment. Jane stresses that a major concern about the SPA proposal is that “one size does not fit all” in stuttering treatment. Ms. Fraser is asked about the Stuttering Foundation’s statement on this issue and a recent Stuttering Foundation blog post. Next, Elaine Kelman is asked about the International Fluency Association’s press release which explains why they feel the Australian Proposal is not fully consistent with evidence based practice. Craig Coleman and Bob Quesal then join the conversation and discuss how there are better ways to advocate for people who stutter then by choosing only one treatment approach to reimburse. Mr. Coleman and Dr. Quesal share their concerns about the possible negative ramifications of the SPA proposal and much, much more.

StutterTalk invited Gail Mulcair, Executive Director of Speech Pathology Australia or another SPA representative on air to discuss these issues. SPA did not accept the invitation to participate.

Jane Fraser is president of The Stuttering Foundation, has run the Foundation for more than 30 years and is co-author of If Your Child Stutters: A Guide for Parents now in its 8th edition.

Elaine Kelman, MSc, Cert CT, Cert MRCSLT is Clinical Manager at The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children in London, President of the International Fluency Association, a Certified member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, an International affiliate of ASHA, and a Member of the Health and Care Professions Council. Ms. Kelman, with Alison Nicholas, authored the textbook Practical Intervention for Early Childhood Stammering: Palin PCI Approach.

Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F is an assistant professor at Marshall University and a Board-Certified Specialist in fluency Disorders. Mr. Coleman is currently serving as coordinator of ASHA SIG 4 (Fluency) and as a member of the ASHA ad-hoc committee to revise the scope of practice in speech-language pathology. Craig is an adjunct instructor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Co-Director of the Stuttering U. summer program for children who stutter, their families, and SLPs.

Robert Quesal, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is a person who stutters, a professor emeritus of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Western Illinois University, a fellow of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and a retired board certified specialist in fluency disorders.

Related Links:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Tom’s Weidig’s post at the Stuttering Brain blog, Lidcombe the only effective treatment in Australia? – link