He Lidcombe method, developed by Professor Mark Onslow of the University of Sydney, is a program focused on the early treatment of stuttering, and is already used by 80 percent of Australian speech therapists.
The novelty of the Lidcombe method is that it is a program in which parents help the child in their daily environment. And is that parental support is essential, since the speech therapist will be in charge of teaching them how to carry out the treatment at home.
The role of the speech therapist focuses on teaching parents to carry out the treatment, without interfering in the child's daily life and taking into account that each case and each family is different. During these ages the child is not aware that he stutters and you see no corrections, just a game.
The method is revolutionary since it is intervened in an age group (from 2 to 6 years) where it was not intervened directly with the traditional method, and now it is only done through play and in the child's environment (their home) the method being the speech therapist his own mother or father. For the success of the treatment, parents have to be actively involved, with affection and understanding they observe their child and help him with respect.
Without being overwhelmed and without burdening them with the responsibility of speaking differently, they help the child to integrate and fully develop their speech function. Always in a play environment and in the child's family environment. Research to date has shown that, after treatment the disfluencies remit or are present only to a very slight degree, and that these results are maintained during the subsequent supervision period to which the children are subjected.
Preliminary research also shows that the program does not interfere with parent-child relationships and has no apparent effect on other aspects of communication. In fact, parents report that their children are more outgoing and they talk more after treatment.
The Spanish Stuttering Foundation, in a first phase of implementation in Spain of the Lidcombe Program has trained several professional speech therapists of different autonomous communities of the national territory in this method. Once this period of experimentation is over, and having verified its effectiveness in Castilian-speaking children, the Foundation will seek dissemination and training on the method to all those professionals who deal with children with disfluencies who wish to do so.
Claudia Patricia Groesman
General Secretary of the Spanish Foundation for Stuttering.
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