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Speech rate, fluency, disordered phonology, Adjacent Utterance Pair, preschoolers


Speech and Hearing Science | Speech Pathology and Audiology


Slow rate of speech, a therapy method that falls under the Demands Capacity Model of treatment, is a go to technique for treating children who stutter (Conture, 2001; Franken, 2013; Franken, Kielstra-Van der Schalk, et al., 2005; Gottwald, 2010). However, recent literature has presented the idea that this method may not be as effective when working with children who stutter and have a concomitant phonological disorder (S+DP). The purpose of the present study is to investigate in-depth the case of a four-year-old boy who stutters and who presents with disordered phonology (S+DP), and the effects of a clinician’s rate of speech on facilitating his fluency. Using adjacent utterance pair methodology, this study looks at the relationship between how fast or slow the clinician’s rate of speech is, and whether or not the child stutters or speaks fluently in response. The rates of the clinician’s utterances were calculated in syllables per minute, and a median split comparison was performed to separate the utterances as either fast or slow. The AUP’s were then separated into four groups based on clinician’s rate and child response. A chi-square test for independence provided a non-significant result, suggesting that a slow rate of speech did not facilitate the fluency of this S+DP child. A noteworthy connection between the child participant’s unintelligibility and fluency was also found. These findings support the idea that slow rate does not facilitate fluency in S+DP children, and that further research into this population, as well as effective methods of treatment for them, is necessary.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Communicative Disorders

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License