The interpretation of therapy results fails when the treatment teaches to the test
I’m really at a loss if I should keep pointing out the cargo-cult pseudoscience in the field of SLP. But alas, here’s another example–including many of the same researchers on this little gem. This study is measures the effects of syllable-timed speech to treat preschool children who stutter. In English–this means…”Does talking like a slow monosyllabic robot cure kids from stuttering?” The abstract says “yes, but it takes 6 visits.” I couldn’t bring myself to read the article. Sorry.
What’s the flaw? The kids are being taught to the test. Talk in such an unnatural way that overt stuttering is impossible. Measure that the kid isn’t overtly stuttering. (Profit!) Assume that this unnatural “fluency” will result in a life-long recovery from stuttering. So gang….are we buying this? Make a kid talk like a robot and assume stuttering is cured?
No–I’m not saying that direct pediatric stuttering therapy is bad… not by a long shot. But this research group has to recognize that they can’t quantify the stuttering phenomenon. And their attempts to quantify the disorder results in them fooling themselves into success that they’re likely not really having.