Exploring how preschoolers who stutter use spoken language during free play: A feasibility study
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 2019, 21 (6), pp. 646 - 654
- Issue Date:
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© 2018, © 2018 The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Purpose: Play is critically important for the healthy development of children. This study explored the viability of a methodology to investigate how preschoolers who stutter use language in play with peers. Method: Transcripts of peer-directed utterances of four preschoolers who stutter and four matched non-stuttering children during free play were analysed for measures of verbal output (numbers of utterances and words), length and complexity of utterances (mean length of communication unit and syntactic complexity), and lexical diversity (number of different words, type token ratio and vocd). Result: Viable speech samples were obtained. Verbal output scores of two children who stutter were the same or higher than their matched controls whereas mean length of communication unit and syntactic complexity scores for three children who stutter were lower than their matched controls. In 22 of the 24 comparisons across number of different words, type token ratio, and vocd, scores of children who stutter were the same or higher than their matched controls. Conclusion: Interpretation of data is limited by the small sample size and lack of standardised testing. However, results indicate that the methodology has promise for future research into the way preschoolers who stutter use spoken language during play and the quality of their play.
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