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Identifying children at risk of persistent stuttering


Researchers at University College London have developed a screening test to help identify children most at risk for persistent stuttering into adulthood. Stuttering is common in many young children in the first few years that they learn to talk, but four out of five overcome it by their teen years. The test is for children as young as age five, and in studies has been accurate in predicting the persistence of stuttering.

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Living with a sibling who stutters

This is a review of the article from the Journal of Fluency Disorders, issue 37, 2012, "The experiences of living with a sibling who stutters: a preliminary study", pgs 135-148, Janet M. Beilby, Michelle l.Byrnes, Kate N. Young. This review was originally published in the summer 2012 issue of CSA Voices.


This study explores the sibling relationship when one of those siblings stutters, from the point of view of the non-stuttering sibling.

In previous studies the focus has been primarily on the effect of having a stuttering child on the parents, and the relationship between parents and that child. Even in studies of family-centred therapy, the feelings and opinions of a non-stuttering sibling has not been explored.

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Stuttering has social consequences, even for 3 and 4 year olds

Title of article reviewed: “Peer Responses to Stuttering in the Preschool Setting”
Authors: Marilyn Langevin, Ann Packman, and Mark Onslow, Australian Stuttering Research Centre, University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

marilyn Marilyn Langevin

Sean is a 4-year-old preschooler who stutters. He enjoys playing with his friends, but at times the words get in the way. In the same city live three other preschoolers who stutter – Aaron, Sarah, and David.  Stuttering affects each of them at preschool, especially when they’re playing with their friends.

What these preschoolers have in common, aside from being children who stutter, is the fact that they were subjects of a research project that Marilyn Langevin, of the University of Alberta, completed for her PhD dissertation at the University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Their names are pseudonyms.

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ARTICLE REVIEW: stuttering and childhood infections

Summary and Review of the article "Stuttering onset associated with streptococcal infection: A case suggesting stuttering as PANDAS" by Gerald A. Maguire, MD; Steven N. Viele, MD, FAAP; and Sanjay Agarwal, MD; Elliot Handler, BA; David Franklin, PsyD. From ANNALS OF CLINICAL PSYCHIATRY 2010; 22(4): 283-284

This article, co-authored by researcher Gerald Maguire, discusses the documented case of a six year old boy who started stuttering after being diagnosed with a streptoccal infection. The symptoms of this were a “sore throat, fever and general malaise”, but at the request of the parents antibiotics were not administered to the child. He started stuttering approximately one month after the infection. There was no history of stuttering with the child personally or in his family.

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Peer attitudes toward children who stutter

Article reviewed: "The Peer Attitudes Toward Children who Stutter scale: Reliability, known groups validity, and negativity of elementary school-age children’s attitudes", by Marilyn Langevin, from the Journal of Fluency Disorders, 34 (2009) 72-86.

Background for the study

Research indicates that children who stutter are less well accepted socially, less likely to be seen as leaders, and more likely to be teased and bullied.  In order to address this situation, clinicians have developed programs to educate children about stuttering. Some are designed for classes that include children who stutter. Others are meant for all students.

Marilyn Langevin of the University of Alberta has developed a teasing and bullying prevention program that includes a unit about stuttering. The program, Teasing and Bullying: Unacceptable Behaviour (TAB), is designed to help all children deal with bullying, not just those who stutter.

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