Monday, August 26, 2013

Preschoolers who stutter do just fine emotionally and socially

Stuttering may be more common than previously thought, but preschool stutterers fair better than first thought, a study by The University of Melbourne, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and The University of Sydney has found.

A study of over 1600 children, which followed the children from infancy to four years old, found the cumulative incidence of stuttering by four years old was 11 per cent, more than twice what has previously been reported.

However, the study refutes the long held view that suggests developmental stuttering is associated with a range of poorer outcomes in the preschool period. Interestingly, the study found the reverse was true, with stuttering associated with better language development, non-verbal skills with no identifiable effect on the child’s mental health or temperament at four years old.

Surprisingly, researchers found that recovery from stuttering was low, 6.3 per cent, 12 months after onset. Rates of recovery were higher in boys than girls, and in those who did not repeat whole words at onset than those who did. The study boys were more likely to develop stuttering.

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