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This article originally appeared in a 2007 edition of the CSA newsletter.
Research published in recent years, including in the British Medical Journal, offers pretty solid support for the efficacy of the Lidcombe Program in treating young children who stutter. A CSA Voices reporter, Jaan Pill, speaks with Rosalee Shenker, head of the Montreal Fluency Centre, who described how the Lidcombe Program found its way to Canada.
He also speaks with Mark Onslow, director of the Australian Stuttering Research Centre at the University of Sydney, in the course of his recent North American lecture tour.
Rosalee Shenker played a key role in bringing the Lidcombe Program to Canada beginning in 1996.
That year, she attended a meeting in Monterey, California of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Special Interest Division 4, a group that brings together clinicians and researchers who specialize in treatment of stuttering. Mark Onslow of Australia was the last speaker at that particular meeting. Rosalee Shenker didn’t know much about him. As it turned out, everything he said in his presentation made sense to her in terms of what she knew about early stuttering.
Rosalie arranged for Ann Packman and Mark Onslow from the Australian Stuttering Research Centre to visit Montreal. Rosalee Shenker and her colleagues subsequently tried the Lidcombe Program and some time later Mark Onslow arrived for a second visit, after which the Montreal Fluency Centre began offering clinical training in the Lidcombe Program. Close to 1,500 clinicians have now been trained in the program in Canada. The Montreal Fluency Centre maintains a list of clinicians across Canada who are trained in this program. The list is available online at the Montreal Fluency Centre website.
Stuttering treatment in general, in children and adults, has traditionally been prone to relapse – because of the challenge of taking what a person learns in a clinic and generalizing that to everyday speaking situations outside the clinic. Research indicates that the Lidcombe Program successfully addresses the critical issues of long-term relapse and generalization.