The Camperdown Program is a treatment for stuttering in teenagers and adults. It was developed by researchers at the ASRC and it takes its name from the ASRC research clinic at The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital which is located in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown. The aim of the program, which is described in the Camperdown Program Manual, is to provide a way to speak without stuttering. A technique called prolonged speech has been used for centuries to control stuttering and this is the basis of the treatment.
Prolonged-speech is similar to "smooth speech" and other unusual speech patterns in which words are "stretched out". It has been used in intensive group programs for chronic stuttering for decades. These programs typically train participants to use the speech pattern at a very slow rate. Participants increase their speech rate systematically through programmed instruction. This stops stuttering in the clinic, and then the participant attempts to use the technique to stop stuttering outside the clinic. However, the Camperdown Program is a new way of teaching prolonged speech: The procedure does not involve programmed instruction.
The advantages of this new program are significant. Most importantly, participants require much less time to learn to use the speech pattern and so clinical hours are greatly reduced. The changes that have been incorporated into the Camperdown Program were driven by laboratory research.
For more information on the Camperdown Program please contact Dr Sue O'Brian.