International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders

Cover image for Vol. 50 Issue 3

Edited By: Steven Bloch and Nicola Botting

Impact Factor: 1.471

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 14/24 (Audiology & Speech-Language Pathology); 22/171 (Linguistics); 24/70 (Rehabilitation (Social Science)); 30/64 (Rehabilitation)

Online ISSN: 1460-6984

Virtual Issue: The King's Speech and Stuttering Research

Stuttering is a much talked about issue at the moment, due to the huge success of the film ‘The King’s Speech’ starring Colin Firth. This film tells the tale of Albert (Bertie), the Duke of York who had suffered from a debilitating stutter all his life. He is suddenly crowned King George VI of England in 1937, after the abdication of his older brother Edward VIII. When his country is at the brink of war he wants to deliver a radio address to unite and inspire his people. The film highlights how the long-term support of his Speech and Language Therapist helps the King manage his stutter and find his voice.

Inspired by this film, we have put together a selection of recent IJLCD articles on the theme of stuttering. We chose only recent studies and aimed for articles that highlight the richness of stuttering research that takes place around the world. You can access these papers free here.

One article from the USA looked at listeners reactions to stuttered and fluent speech and found that people tended to avert their gaze from the eyes of the speaker when he stuttered. This can be perceived as a negative reaction by the stuttering person. It is well known that people who stutter experience social anxiety. Another study, from Australia, reports on the development of a measure to assess unhelpful thoughts and beliefs about stuttering, which are linked to social anxiety.

Stuttering is persistent and affects people of all ages. One study, from Iceland and the US, looked at the accuracy of parents judgments of young children’s stuttering. This study showed that parents of children who stutter were very good at judging stuttering occurrences in their children’s speech and were significantly better than parents of children who did not stutter.

Two of the highlighted articles focused on stuttering treatments. One looked at a specific treatment technique, time-out after each moment of stuttering, and what factors affected its effectiveness. The other study focused on alternative ways of delivering therapy. It explored the effectiveness of delivering a speech restructuring programme -the Camperdown Programme- via telephone (telehealth) with good results.

Areas less well researched are also highlighted. For example, the experiences of older people who stutter were explored in one study from Australia, which found that older people still experienced considerable barriers to their communication and expressed a need for individual, short-term treatment to address their needs.

We hope you will find these articles an interesting read. They are not aimed to be an exhaustive list of the stuttering research that IJLCD publishes, but rather give a flavour of the breadth of topics we cover. Stuttering is only one of a range of language and communication difficulties, many of which are more hidden and harder to spot. IJLCD publishes work on all the different types of communication difficulty - please see our recent issues for more information.

Katerina Hilari and Nicola Botting
Editors of IJLCD

The Virtual Issue:

Gaze aversion to stuttered speech: a pilot study investigating differential visual attention to stuttered and fluent speech
Andrew L. Bowers, Stephen C. Crawcour, Tim Saltuklaroglu and Joseph Kalinowski

Older people who stutter: barriers to communication and perceptions of treatment needs
Geraldine Bricker-Katz, Michelle Lincoln and Patricia McCabe

Unhelpful thoughts and beliefs linked to social anxiety in stuttering: development of a measure
Tamsen St Clare, Ross G. Menzies, Mark Onslow, Ann Packman, Robyn Thompson and Susan Block

Investigating factors related to the effects of time-out on stuttering in adults
Diane E. Franklin, Catherine L. Taylor, Neville W. Hennessey, Janet M. Beilby

Randomized controlled non-inferiority trial of a telehealth treatment for chronic stuttering: the Camperdown Program
Brenda Carey, Sue O'Brian, Mark Onslow, Susan Block, Mark Jones and Ann Packman

Accuracy of parent identification of stuttering occurrence
Jóhanna Einarsdóttir and Roger Ingham