Adolescents

Camperdown Program

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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.

A Randomised controlled trial showed that this treatment can work by telehealth. In other words, the client and therapist can be far apart, even in different countries. A qualified speech-language pathologist can do telehealth Camperdown treatment using webcam over the Internet.

The advantages of this new program are significant. The Camperdown Program is known from clinical trials to be useful for teenagers. In fact, because teenagers use the Internet so much, webcam treatment for them works particularly well. Most importantly, participants require much less time to learn to use the speech pattern and so clinical hours are greatly reduced. For more information on the Camperdown Program please contact . The Camperdown Program Treatment Manual can be found here.

Anxiety

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Anxiety about speaking is commonly reported by adolescents who stutter. Anxiety of this type can impact on school performance and participation, and may also interfere with social activities. Further, anxiety problems may interfere with using prolonged speech. For all of these reasons, we recommend addressing anxiety when adolescent stutterers report it.

The treatment of choice for social anxiety is Cognitive Behaviour Therapy or CBT, a scientifically established psychological approach to the management of dysfunctional behaviour that does not involve medication. CBT is based upon the relationship between an individual’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Treatment focuses on thoughts and behaviours that are presently causing distress or interfering with an individual’s life. The sufferer is taught to eliminate avoidance behaviours, confront their fears, and reappraise negative or unhelpful thinking patterns.

The Australian Stuttering Research Centre team have developed a standalone Internet treatment specifically to treat the social anxiety of adolescents who stutter. This website provides treatment for social anxiety without the need for a clinical psychologist or a speech-language pathologist.

Adolescent Maintenance Day

The Australian Stuttering Research Centre offers maintenance days for adolescents who have previously completed Smooth Speech Treatment or the Camperdown Program. The aim of these maintenance days is to revise and practice an already acquired speech technique in a supportive environment. The day typically encompasses individual and small group work according to client needs, personal goals and interests.

For further information, or to register your interest, email . Maintenance day dates are also advertised on our home page under ‘highlights’ so watch that space for upcoming events. This program is made possible by the generous support of the Freilich Foundation.

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