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Assessment of stuttering characteristics in preschool children

Eva Polančec (2019) Assessment of stuttering characteristics in preschool children. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    Stuttering is a fluency disorder, present in every culture and race. Individuals – men and women – face stuttering in all life spans. It should be emphasized that more children than adults stutter. It is a complex multidimensional disorder which is expressed in an individual combination of core and secondary behaviors, feelings, and attitudes in every individual. With regards to the onset of stuttering, we distinct between developmental and acquired stuttering. In the master’s thesis, we focus on developmental stuttering, i.e. neurodevelopmental disorder which emerges in childhood. The research shows that different factors have an important influence on the emergence of stuttering and that preschool children who stutter need to be included in therapy as soon as possible. Therefore, the appropriate diagnostics of stuttering is of essential significance. In the theoretical starting points, the essential conceptions are defined first, as the terminology of the field of fluency disorder is not yet entirely unified. Stuttering, i.e. developmental stuttering, is defined in more detail. The onset of its emergence, prevalence, and incidence, and spontaneous disappearance of the disorder is presented. Along with the symptomology of developmental stuttering, i.e. core behaviors, secondary behaviors, and feelings and attitudes, the etiology of developmental stuttering is presented. Special attention is paid to diagnostics of developmental stuttering in the preschool period – to the principles of evaluating the symptoms of developmental stuttering in a preschool child, the course of the diagnostic process, and the significance of ensuring the appropriate support to children who stutter. Slovenian professionals in the field of speech and language therapy who operate with stuttering report the lack of appropriate diagnostic materials for fluency disorders. For this reason, the purpose of the empirical part was to form a questionnaire which enables acquiring the essential information with regards to the fluency of the child speech. This was performed by means of reviewing the literature and by conversations with the experts. The questionnaire was then used on a smaller purposive sample of preschool children with their parents’ approval of cooperating in the research. Four preschool children whose parents worried because of fluency of the child’s speech sought the help of a speech and language therapist at the competent institution (Institute for the Deaf and Hearing-Impaired in Ljubljana, Hearing and Speech Center in Maribor) are included in the sample. The questionnaire was filled in by the parents at the first examination, i.e. before the inclusion of a child to the stuttering therapy. We ascertained that stuttering was first noticed by the parents in all children and that all the preschool children included in the sample have a positive family history of stuttering in the line of their male relative. Three out of four preschool children spoke about being aware of their stuttering. Only the youngest boy was excluded from the process. Most of the secondary behavior was noticed in the oldest boy and the least at the youngest boy, which correlates with the ascertaining of the expert literature. Because the sample was small, however, we cannot generalize the ascertainment. Similarly, in the case of family dynamics, we cannot report about reliable ascertainments and possible correlation of the expert literature. We conclude that the questionnaire enables gaining the essential data on the fluency of the speech of preschool children. However, we cannot generalize the answers gained in the master’s thesis because of the smallness of the sample.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: speech, fluency disorders, stuttering, questionnaire, preschool children
    Number of Pages: 70
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Damjana KogovšekMentor
    asist. dr. Jerneja Novšak BrceComentor
    Link to COBISS: https://plus.si.cobiss.net/opac7/bib/peflj/12654153
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 6067
    Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2019 12:48
    Last Modified: 25 Oct 2019 12:48
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/6067

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