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Vanderbilt SLP Journal Club: Differentiating Stuttering Persistence and Recovery

Vanderbilt SLP Journal Club: Differentiating Stuttering Persistence and Recovery
Ellen M. Kelly, PhD, CCC-SLP
April 19, 2017

This text-based course is a transcript of the webinar, Vanderbilt SLP Journal Club: Differentiating Stuttering Persistence and Recovery, presented by Ellen M. Kelly, PhD, CCC-SLP.

Learning Objectives

After this course, the reader will be able to: 

  1. describe current research findings comparing children who recover to those who persist in stuttering.
  2. identify key components of speech, language, emotion, motor, and other domains to incorporate into a holistic assessment of developmental stuttering in 2-6 year-olds.
  3. explain how to utilize assessment findings to individualize treatment for 2-6 year-old children who stutter.


This is a very exciting time to talk about this topic, especially in the last few years. More and more researchers are obtaining information about what is happening in young children who stutter over time. It is helping us to differentiate children who might persist in stuttering from those who might recover. We still have a long way to go, but I will present some of the new information that is available and share how to apply that in the evaluation and treatment of young children who stutter.

In terms of disclosures, I obtain a salary and am an employee of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. My work is supported by a gift from the Malcolm Fraser Foundation, and SpeechPathology.com has made a donation to Vanderbilt's student education program, in appreciation for this webinar. I have no non-financial relationships to disclose. 

International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health –
Children and Youth

I like to use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health model (http://www.erisee.org/node/79) to frame the findings that I obtained diagnostically from children and also to prepare for treatment. Also, this model is very helpful in thinking about children who stutter. You may be familiar with the ICF from Scott Yaruss and his colleagues' work in developing the instrument, the OASES. Well the ICF-CY version, or Children in Youth, is specifically designed to include developmental processes and milestones in addition to environmental context. The purpose is to examine health conditions like stuttering in context and look at their impact on everyday functioning. As we look at young children who stutter, we especially consider the context of the family, in daycare, in kindergarten, et cetera. So briefly, the health condition we are looking at is stuttering.

When we look at body functions and structures we are talking about things we do diagnostically like an oral mechanism exam to determine if there are problems with any of the structures. In terms of function, the testing that we do for speech, language, articulation, oral motor skills and other things fit into there as well.

ellen m kelly

Ellen M. Kelly, PhD, CCC-SLP

Ellen M. Kelly, PhD, CCC-SLP, is Associate Professor, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences and Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Founding Director, Stuttering Foundation Program at Vanderbilt, and Executive Director, Camp T.A.L.K.S. (Talking And Learning with Kids who Stutter).  Her areas of interest include developmental stuttering and counseling related to communication disorders.  She provides clinical service to those who stutter and their families, teaches, supervises, and studies developmental stuttering.  She has presented and published clinical and research methods and findings nationally and internationally. 

Related Courses

The Ripple Effect of Stuttering: A Community-Based Approach
Presented by Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, ASHA Fellow, Mary Weidner, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #9217Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This is Part 2 of a four-part series. The stuttering experience has a ripple effect that extends far beyond the child who stutters. Parents, teachers, peers, and others must possess both knowledge and skills to best support children who stutter. This course will highlight new clinical tools and resources to provide a community-based treatment approach for stuttering. (Part 1 - Course 9278, Part 3 - Course 9301, Part 4 - Course 9304)

Creating Allies and Developing Advocacy Skills in Stuttering Therapy
Presented by Brooke Leiman Edwards, MA, CCC-SLP, Hope Gerlach, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #92232 Hours
This is Part 3 of a four-part series. This course will focus on specific strategies for involving parents/caregivers in stuttering therapy, and promoting self-advocacy skills among clients who stutter. Through the use of case studies, the speakers will problem-solve obstacles commonly faced by speech-language pathologists when addressing these important aspects of therapy. (Part 1 - Course 9278, Part 2 - Course 9286, Part 4 - Course 9304)

Best Practices for Stuttering Assessment and Treatment Including the Role of Support Groups
Presented by Katie Gore, MA, CCC-SLP, Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, ASHA Fellow
Course: #9225Level: Intermediate2 Hours
This course is Part 4 in a four-part series. It will provide an overview of stuttering peer support communities and the clinical importance of incorporating community experience into therapy. Current research and practical application questions will address goal writing, SLP roles and responsibilities, and common challenges connecting therapy to the community. Case studies will be shared to highlight assessment and treatment across various age ranges. (Part 1 - Course 9278, Part 2 - Course 9286, Part 3 - Course 9301)

20Q: Early Childhood Stuttering: Less-Direct and More-Direct Treatment
Presented by J. Scott Yaruss, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F, Nina Reardon-Reeves, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Course: #8978Level: Intermediate1 Hour
This course addresses key issues in the treatment of early childhood stuttering, with a focus on less-direct and more-direct treatment approaches. The course will discuss ways that clinicians can draw upon various approaches to develop individualized treatment so that each child’s and family’s individual needs are addressed.

Difficult Conversations in Stuttering Treatment
Presented by Craig Coleman, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Course: #8731Level: Intermediate1 Hour
This course will review scenarios that might result in difficult discussions with parents and children in stuttering assessment and treatment. Strategies for building effective therapeutic partnerships will be discussed.

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