The Lidcombe Programme which originated from a suburb near Sydney, Australia of the same name is a special treatment program developed for the cause of stuttering children. The programme which originally began in Australia has received world-wide recognition because of the effectiveness of the treatment. It was developed by Professor Mark Onslow as a behavioral treatment to help stuttering children recuperate from their problem.
This treatment makes use of parents or closely related relatives of the stuttering child so that there is involvement and ease. The treatment is undergone in the presence of a speech pathologist who briefs the parents on the methods involved in the treatment. The speech pathologist only directs and guides the parents or volunteers in doing the methods of the treatment so that the stuttering child feels comfortable and familiar in its surroundings.
Divided into two stages, the Lidcombe programme focuses on eliminating the stutter in the first stage and in the second stage care is taken so that the stutter doesn’t reappear. During the first stage, the parents visit the clinic of the speech pathologist for a certain required number of times in a week and learn the treatment methods from the pathologist. Once they have learnt it, the pathologist checks to see if the parents are administering the treatment in the right way because any flaw in the treatment could prove worthless for the stuttering child. Hence proper training must be taken by the parents with complete involvement to achieve the desired results.
After the parents proceed with the treatment, they have to be direct with their comments on the child’s speech. They must overly encourage every stutter that is overcome and rarely point out the stutter when it happens as this avoids putting too much pressure on the child. Points are given to monitor the progress: No stutter gets 10 points while sever stuttering gets 0 points and weekly observations are made on this basis and corrections made in the following weeks.
The child is ready for the second stage only when the stuttering has been overcome and here maintenance of the fluent speech is advised. Normally, the first stage takes somewhere around 11 weeks for an average stutterer. The primary success of the Lidcombe programme lies in the fact that it is mainly practiced in the real world scenario outside a clinic thereby making sure the treatment works effectively and also ensuring the child’s advancement in a natural environment.