Read our new 3 part information series on “stuttering”.

Part 1: What is Stuttering?

Let’s talk about the different types of stuttering, how it comes about, triggering factors and the importance of early intervention.

At Box Hill Speech Pathology, we help treat lots of people, young and old, who stutter. We understand that no two cases of stuttering are the same, so therefore treatment must also be personalised. Stuttering can present at different times in a person’s life and the onset can be sudden or developed slowly over time. Because stuttering can sound and look different for different people, its impact can also vary. Research has shown that early intervention provides the most effective results, so where possible, we recommend that children begin stuttering treatment as early as possible and ideally, before they commence school.

But first it’s important to understand what stuttering is. Stuttering is a communication disorder that interrupts the flow of speech. Everyone’s stuttering is different. It can have the same features or a mix of different types. Stuttering can sound like repeated sounds. Ye-Ye-Yesterday. Words: Yesterday, Yesterday, Yesterday. Syllables: Yes-Yes-Yesterday or phrases: Yesterday I went, Yesterday I went, Yesterday I went. Stuttering can also sound like the stretching of sounds: w-w-w-when, it can also feel like the words are getting stuck, (silence) Apple, Some other features that can also happen when you stutter are unplanned eye movements and facial movements,

Stuttering can vary across the day or across weeks, or it may naturally recover over time. However, it is important to be mindful of the following things. If a person has been stuttering for a significant period of time, if there is family history of stuttering, if the person has a coexisting communication difficulty such as a speech disorder or a language disorder, or if the person begins to withdraw from social situations. In these cases, the need to seek advice from a speech pathologist becomes more urgent. We are pleased to share that we offer a range of treatment options for both children and adults. A qualified speech pathologist will be able to co-design the best treatment plan for you or your child. The first step in accessing quality, evidence based treatment, is to call the clinic today and book in your teletherapy appointment or your in person face to face clinic consultation.

Part 2: Stuttering Treatment Options for Children

Let’s discuss the different types of stuttering treatment available, the importance of tailoring the right program to your child and what results you can expect upon completion.

Let’s discuss some of the therapy approaches that are available for preschool and school-aged children. After a comprehensive assessment with your speech pathologist is complete. A decision about the treatment approach can be made. Because of varying individual needs, a therapy plan will be developed that is individualised to your child. It is important to note that a therapy plan that is helpful for one child may not be as effective for another.

The aim of these programs is to achieve no stuttering or almost no stuttering. Treatment will teach children how to improve their overall speech fluency and support their participation in school and social activities.

For children, Box Hill Speech Pathology offers the following evidence based programs.

The Lidcombe program: this program is typically used for children under the age of six. It is a behavioral treatment program that focuses on providing positive reinforcement for smooth speech.

Syllable time speech: this program is typically used for children over the age of six, and can also be known as the Westmead program. It involves saying a syllable in time with the rhythmic beat.

The Oakville program: This program combines strategies from the two programs just mentioned, which include syllable time speech alongside positive reinforcement.

All programs mentioned here can be offered by telehealth or in clinic visits by our range of clinicians. So contact our clinic today.

Part 3: Stuttering Treatment Options for Adults & Adolescents

Let’s look at the different treatment options for adults & adolescents and how they’re designed to improve both stuttering and speech fluency in general.

In this article, we discuss what treatment may look like for adults or adolescents. It is important to note that treatment is different for children and for adults. For this population, the aim of treatment is to improve overall fluency. Adults who have been stuttering for an extended period of time may need strategies to manage and control their stuttering in their daily activities. The best evidence based programs are commonly referred to as speech restructuring programs. These strategies help us to speak in a way that improves overall fluency and minimizes stuttering.

The main treatment program that we deliver is called The Camperdown program. This program is recommended for adults and adolescents over the age of 12. It uses smooth speech strategies to teach individuals how to control their stuttering and in turn, aims to reduce stuttering frequency and severity. Whilst The Camperdown Program is the most widely used, there may be other evidence based programs, more suitable for your needs. This may include Self-Imposed Timeout or Syllable Time Speech. The most suitable program for you will be determined by your speech pathologist, following assessment and described to you in further detail.

All treatment options are proven to reduce stuttering and improve both social and emotional wellbeing. Adolescents and adults who stutter may experience anxiety relating to their communication, which in turn may impact on job performance and participation in social activities. While speech pathologists will support a person in reducing their stuttering and improving their overall fluency, some individuals may benefit from seeking advice from another health professional, such as a psychologist. All the therapy options mentioned in this video can be delivered by a range of our clinicians, both in the clinic and via telehealth. For more information, please contact the clinic today.

Box Hill Speech Pathology have clinicians who are very experienced in treating early and more advanced stuttering, and can help you discover how to control stuttering.

What is stuttering?

Stuttering is a motor speech problem that causes a breakdown in the production and flow of speech. It usually begins when children are between 2 and 4 years old. Typically, people think of stuttering as being sound, word or phrase repetitions, for example ‘w-w-w-would you like to play?’. Can-can-can we go soon? / I really like, I really like, I really um like ice cream.’ However, stuttering can also present as stuck or blocked sound production. This can cause delays before speaking (sometimes with evident effort) or hesitations and pauses during conversations. Stuttering may also be characterised by stretching of sounds, called elongations, for example ‘Ca——-n we go soon?

Is there a difference between Children Stuttering & Dysfluent Language?

Many young children progress through a phase of being quite dysfluent, often when they are having a burst of language growth. However, these periods of dysfluency should not last long nor should they frequently recur. It can be difficult to determine if dysfluency is ‘normal’ or stuttering, so it is wise to obtain an experienced speech pathologist’s opinion if you are unsure. We can show you how to manage stuttering.

Should I wait and see if the stuttering resolves on its own?

Stuttering sometimes naturally resolves, however there is no evidence to tell us which children will recover naturally and which children will require formal treatment to manage their stuttering. We do know that stuttering is more difficult to treat as children get older and that treatment is most effective if it is started prior to the child turning 6 years of age. Many factors will influence the decision of whether to ‘watch and wait’ or to treat immediately, and the speech pathologist will help you to make this decision at your first appointment.

What types of treatment are available? Do they work?

In Australia, the Lidcombe Program is considered best practice treatment for young children who stutter. The Lidcombe Program is essentially a parent training program, whereby parents are taught to provide carefully worded and well-timed feedback regarding their child’s speech during specific games and naturally occurring situations. The program is fun and simple to administer. Most children love coming to the clinic to play ‘smooth talking games’ and parents find it very empowering to be the direct therapist for their child.

More detailed information regarding this program, download the guide:

Download the Lidcombe Program Guide

Speech Restructuring, sometimes called ‘Smooth Speech’, ‘Prolonged Speech’ or ‘The Camperdown Program’ teaches people who stutter to use a slightly altered speech style to control their stuttering. Speech restructuring effectively reduces stuttering but requires accurate self-monitoring and attention to the technique at all times. It is rarely the treatment of choice for very young children, but may be used in combination with the Lidcombe Program for older children.

What should I do if I think my child is stuttering?

Box Hill Speech Pathology offers assessment and diagnosis services for children who are suspected to be stuttering. Contact the clinic and arrange an appointment to see one of our speech pathologists to find out how to stop stuttering. While you are waiting for an appointment, you may like to consider the following:

  • How long has the stuttering been present? Has it gone away and then recurred? How many times has it gone away?
  • Can you describe the stuttering? What characteristics do you notice, for example repetitions (how many times? On words/sounds/syllables?), sound stretching or blocking?
  • How would you score the stuttering on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is no stuttering and 10 is the worst stuttering you could ever imagine for any child? Would the stuttering have the same score each day and through the day, or vary? Keep a record of your scores while you await your appointment.
  • If possible, record your child speaking on a few different occasions, particularly if they are stuttering. Bring this recording with you to the appointment.

Skype that stutter

We are pleased to introduce our Skype based services, which is a convenient and effective method of providing therapy to those clients who may find it difficult to attend the clinic in person. Mr Vincent Borg, our leading speech pathologist with a special interest in stuttering therapy, is available to provide Skype based therapy from the clinic to help you manage stuttering. Research to date has shown that Skype based therapy is as successful as face to face in house therapy, and it also allows some clients who would otherwise be unable to access services the chance to do so from the comfort of their own home. Telephone consultations are also available for those who do not have access to Skype.

Appointments can be made by phoning the clinic on (03) 9899 5494 during business hours, or via email at

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Newsletters Archive 2018

Date Published Download
Feb 2018 There’s No I in Team or Speech Therapy

Newsletters Archive 2017

Date Published Download
Jan 2017 Watch this (brain) space
Feb 2017 Coming Unstuck
April 2017 How Great it is to Communicate Resources for Parents – Resources for Parents
May 2017 Voicing Your Concerns – Part Two
Oct 2017 Spotlight on Stuttering

Newsletters Archive 2016

Date Published Download
Feb 2016 Speaking Up About Fear
10 Aug 2016 To Be or Not to Be (Me)
Oct 2016 Who’s afraid of the big, bad words
Nov 2016 Rhythm and Blues
Nov 2016 Time Out

Newsletters Archive 2015

Date Published Download
May 2015 Words, Words, Words (with apologies to Shakespeare)