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April 15, 2013

Young children who stutter needed for Purdue study

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue Stuttering Project is looking for 4- and 5-year-old children who stutter to participate in a five-year study to help university researchers understand why some children continue to stutter and others grow out of it.

To be eligible for the study, children must display stuttered speech, speak English, have hearing within the normal range; and have no learning or neurological difficulties. Families of participating children will receive $100, and those who live more than 60 miles away will receive $200. Each family also will receive a free assessment of the child's speech, language and hearing abilities, as well as a written summary of speech and language test results. For more information, contact Barbara Brown, speech-language pathologist, at brownb@purdue.edu or 765-496-6403 or toll-free 866-360-0051.

The Purdue Stuttering Project is led by Anne Smith, a distinguished professor of speech, language and hearing sciences, and Christine Weber-Fox, a professor of speech, language and hearing sciences and a cognitive neuroscientist. The researchers recently received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. They will use their findings to develop a speech therapy screening tool to better identify which preschool children are not likely to recover and should receive therapy immediately.

Five percent of preschool-aged children stutter. Stuttering can be seen as involuntary hesitations, sound prolongations or repetition of syllables in speech. About 75 percent of preschool children will grow out of stuttering, which is found in all cultures. About 1 percent of the world's adult population stutters, which can affect social interactions, educational performance and job opportunities.

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

Sources: Barbara Brown, speech-language pathologist at brownb@purdue.edu or 765-496-6403 or toll-free 866-360-0051

Anne Smith, 765-494-7743, asmith@purdue.edu

Christine Weber-Fox, 765-494-3819, weberfox@purdue.edu

Related news release:
Purdue Stuttering Project receives $3 million research grant