I use the Lidcombe Program to treat stuttering in preschool-age children because it is the only treatment for early stuttering supported by a randomised controlled trial, the gold-standard in medical research. (Jones, M, Onslow, M, Packman, A, et al. (2005). Randomised controlled trial of the Lidcombe programme of early stuttering intervention. British Medical Journal 331, 659-661)
There are two stages in the Lidcombe Program. Stage 1 is complete when there has been no stuttering for 3 consecutive weeks. Stage 2 is complete when stutter-free speech has been maintained for 12 months.
Parents are central to the Lidcombe Program. During stage 1 parents are trained to elicit and reinforce stutter-free speech each day at home. Stage 2 of the program involves periodic appointments for at least 12 months to prevent relapse.
Children enjoy the Lidcombe Program. Children experience the “therapy” as a “game”, a fun or special time with the parent(s) working with them. One parent commented to me that the Lidcombe Program was the best thing to happen to them because not only did it eliminate his son’s stuttering but also it prompted them to prioritise quality time together.
The Lidcombe Program is also effective in school-age children who stutter.