Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Important long-term study of children with the 7-year data.

I am busy right now, but maybe some of you can give its relevance. It seems to be one of or the largest study ever done?

 2017 Oct 3:1-12. doi: 10.1044/2017_JSLHR-S-16-0205. [Epub ahead of print]

The History of Stuttering by 7 Years of Age: Follow-Up of a Prospective Community Cohort.

Kefalianos E1,2,3Onslow M4Packman A4Vogel A1,3,5Pezic A2Mensah F2,6,7Conway L2,6Bavin E8Block S9Reilly S2,6,10.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

For a community cohort of children confirmed to have stuttered by the age of 4 years, we report (a) the recovery rate from stuttering, (b) predictors of recovery, and (c) comorbidities at the age of 7 years.

METHOD:

This study was nested in the Early Language in Victoria Study. Predictors of stuttering recovery included child, family, and environmental measures and first-degree relative history of stuttering. Comorbidities examined at 7 years included temperament, language, nonverbal cognition, and health-related quality of life.

RESULTS:

The recovery rate by the age of 7 years was 65%. Girls with stronger communication skills at the age of 2 years had higher odds of recovery (adjusted OR = 7.1, 95% CI [1.3, 37.9], p = .02), but similar effects were not evident for boys (adjusted OR = 0.5, 95% CI [0.3, 1.1], p = .10). At the age of 7 years, children who had recovered from stuttering were more likely to have stronger language skills than children whose stuttering persisted (p = .05). No evident differences were identified on other outcomes including nonverbal cognition, temperament, and parent-reported quality of life.

CONCLUSION:

Overall, findings suggested that there may be associations between language ability and recovery from stuttering. Subsequent research is needed to explore the directionality of this relationship.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Do you want to become a member of the research and publication committee at IFA??

The Research and Publication Committee of IFA is inviting interested parties to join our team and work collaboratively towards implementing our recently revised goals (see latest draft below).

We strongly encourage junior researchers (e.g., PhD students and postdocs) to apply. They could significantly benefit from membership of an international committee and gain much by having a more top-down approach of research worldwide.

Before applying, please review our goals carefully and indicate those that you would like to be involved in or responsible for and on average how much time you can spend on committee work. 

Of course, any feedback on our goals and on how we can together improve the functioning of research and the research community is welcome.

Therefore, we invite interested parties to apply by sending an email to research_publication_committee@theifa.org. 


(p.s. you need to be or be willing to become a member of IFA to become a member of the committee)

IFA RESEARCH AND PUBLICATION COMMITTEE GOALS

Research-based

1)   Help to ensure a high quality research presence at IFA congresses
  1. Liaise with organizers, program committee, and IFA conference committee.
  2. Organize events and discussion rounds (on own activity).
2)  Encourage online exchanges on research
  1. Organize an online discussion on a specific topic twice a year.
  2. Provide a place to discuss the latest published research articles.
3)  Inform about research activities
  1.  Maintain a list of all research-related contact persons at relevant associations.
  2. Maintain a list of all research teams and published researchers.
  3.   Collect opinions from researchers on last year’s most interesting research.
4)  Support researchers
  1.   Interact informally and through surveys to identify and address needs.
  2.  Manage research-related surveys with IFA membership.
Publication-based
1)  Collaborate with JFD to ensure quality and global reach
  1. Interact with the Editor-in-Chief of JFD at the beginning and end of the academic year.
  2.  Collaborate with JFD on recruiting and training a new generation of reviewers.
  3. Initiate and maintain a mentorship program where senior researchers advise researchers from underrepresented or non-English speaking countries on different aspects of the research publication process.
  4. d. Encourage researchers from underrepresented countries to publish in JFD.
2)   Support IFA committees to inform its members about activities worldwide
  1. Deliver a newsletter twice a year (content TBD)
3)    Edit and support publication of the proceedings of the IFA congresses

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Our brains are not abnormal but just different? A harmful attitude!

BSA posted a link to a research paper on their website here and added this sentence after a very short description of the research:
In 'research-speak' the authors are talking about 'abnormalities', though BSA holds that our brains aren't 'abnormal' but different.
Our brains are clearly abnormal, in the sense that they are different to the norm. They are not just different, because this typically means that they function well within the normal range and have aspects that are different but which do not impact functioning.

Therefore, BSA (or the person who posted it in the name of the whole BSA) does not represent my view as a person who stutters, and I am confident that many people that stutter and that I know would agree with me. Indeed, the BSA does also not represent the majority view of the stuttering community on this issue, in my view.

In fact, this attitude of telling researchers how to express themselves is making the researchers' life just more difficult and causing real harm as they have to spend valuable time thinking about words rather than about their research and are being forced to use words that do not accurately reflect their thinking just so as not to trigger some people who believe that stutteres are offended when, in my view, most don't care at all and would love to hear the unfiltered words of researchers.

Moreover, this attitude harms people who stutter as it prevents them to face the realities of their brains and creates hostility against researchers as the "bad" people who describe people who stutter in a "wrong and discriminatory way". Quite the opposite is the reality. Researchers care about people who stutter but they also care for their freedom to express themselves as they see fit.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

European Clinical Specialization Course on Fluency Disorders

The European Clinical Specialization Course on Fluency Disorders is a one-year program - compatible with the workload of an SLT - for speech-language therapists wanting to become European Fluency Specialists. It consists of 25 credits (ECTS). Graduates of this course will distinguish themselves by their outstanding ability, in-depth knowledge and expertise in the field of fluency disorders. The program provides specialist knowledge and skills, that can be recognized by your local professional body as important criteria leading to clinical specialization.

The program is run by a consortium consisting of 16 partners (universities, colleges, specialized centers) from 9 European countries and will start its tenth course cycle in September 2017.

We would like to inform you that registration for the 1718-course cycle and pre-registration for the 1819-course cycle are open. (For the 1718-cycle only a few places are still available) 

The application procedure can be found here.

The ECSF consortium

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Firing of veteran NIH scientist prompts protests over publication ban

A very sad story. A senior researchers got fired because he did not adhere to the very strict and often completely uselees but politically correct procedures. Result: the valid experimental data (on stuttering!) cannot be used in a scientific publication and the junior researchers face professional disaster under the "publish or perish" doctrine. Nan and Jerry asked for sanity for the sake of research.

Read here.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Latest review on genetics research

If you want to read the latest review on genetics and stuttering, you should read this Open Access article by Drayna and  Frigerio-Domingues.

Drayna is team leader at NIH for genetics of stuttering.

[Thanks to Ora for the tip]

Saturday, January 21, 2017

We do not need a witch hunt against those that mock our stuttering!


I am shocked to read that

A Starbucks barista has been suspended from their job after apparently ‘humiliating’ a man with a speech impediment by writing his name as ‘RRR…ichard’ on his order.
I certainly do not want that the person loses his job.

I suggest that that person and the person who got mocked meet and they talk through it.

But I also suggest that we stutterers should learn not to be offended by every little politically incorrect word or action that people who have no clue do. Change yourself and you will be Zen, and most importantly, you will have the strength to give the person useful feedback.

And I suggest that the BSA (British Stammering Association) should not become like an inquisition and change its tone to "many people are unaware of the issues faced by people who stutter but we are against punishing someone but in favour of them meeting up with people who stutter to understand their perspective."

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Nan's Fluency Bank


Check out the Fluency Bank!
FluencyBank is a shared database for the study of the development of fluency in both normal and disordered populations. Support comes from NIH Grant 1R01DC015494; P.I.s are Nan Bernstein-Ratner (University of Maryland) and Brian MacWhinney (Carnegie Mellon University) . Participants include normally-developing monolingual and bilingual children, children with disfluencies (CWD), adults with disfluencies (AWSD, and second language learners. Researchers and clinicians studying fluency who are interested in joining the consortium should read the Ground Rules and then request a username and password by sending email to nratner@umd.edu with contact information and affiliation.