Stuttering is a disorder that affects the fluency of speech. While stuttering typically develops in early childhood, it can persist into teenage years.
Some teenagers may experience relapse after completing stuttering treatment when they are younger.
The Role of the Camperdown Program in Stuttering Intervention
People who stutter have different experiences and the impacts can vary for each person. As children progress through to their teenage years often their awareness of their stutter, especially in social settings, increases (Hearne et al., 2008).
Therefore, there are certainly quite a few teenagers who reach out for speech pathology intervention.
The Camperdown Program is an evidence-based program for treating stuttering in both adolescents and adult populations and can be used with children older than 12 years of age (O’Brian et al, 2018).
This program is a behavioural treatment which looks at restructuring speech to improve fluency.
Addressing Stuttering in Adolescents with Evidence-Based Approaches
While the Camperdown Program is highly evidence based, for the treatment to be effective it requires significant commitment from both the teenage client and their parents.
The Camperdown Program requires, on average, a minimum of 10-20 hours of therapy to complete three of four stages of the program, and this number is usually higher for adolescent clients (O’Brian et al, 2018).
After speaking with my colleagues about their experiences with the Camperdown Program, this is what they believe is important to know for adolescents completing this program.
- Clients must be motivated to see success with this treatment.
- It is an intense program that requires lots of practice outside of the clinic.
- Where possible, it is important for parents to be involved in the treatment.
- The program is not a cure for stuttering – it is a way to minimise it.
Hearne A, Packman A, Onslow M, Quine S. Stuttering and its treatment in adolescence: the perceptions of people who stutter. J Fluency Disord. 2008; 33(2):81-98. doi: 10.1016/j.jfludis.2008.01.001. Epub 2008 Jan 17. PMID: 18617050.
O’Brian S, Carey B, Lowe R, Onslow M, Packman A, Cream A. The Camperdown Program Stuttering Treatment Guide, May 2018. https://www.uts.edu.au/research/australian-stuttering-research-centre/resources/camperdown-program