2003 IFA Congress: Montreal, Canada

Some Factors Influencing Early Referral of Dysfluent Children

Roberta Lees1, Cameron Stark2, Susan Birse3 and Pam Nicolla4
1Dept. of Speech and Language Therapy, University of Strathclyde, 76 Southbrae Drive, Glasgow, G13 1 PP, Scotland.
2Honorary Senior Lecturer, Highlands and Islands Research Insititute, University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
3Health Information and Resources, Highland Health Board, Inverness, Scotland.
4Royal Northern Infirmary, Ness Walk, Inverness, Scotland.


Two studies are reported on the attitudes and knowledge of possible direct or indirect referrers of young dysfluent children to speech and language therapy. The first study looked at the referral rates and underlying assumptions held by primary care professionals (general practitioners and health visitors) and the second study investigated understanding of dysfluency and ability to recognise stuttering of pre-school educators. One of the main factors affecting referral by primary care professionals was having training in dysfluency. The majority of pre-school educators wished more training and had little information on aetiology, though a surprising number claimed to be able to recognise stuttering.
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