Help Children Become Fluent Speakers
The Oakville Program - Stuttering Treatment in Saskatchewan
Manage Childhood Dysfluency
The Oakville Program is a treatment for children that aims to reduce stuttering. Parents do not change the family lifestyle in any way, apart from 1) encouraging the child to use syllable-timed speech (STS) and 2) presenting contingencies for the child’s stutter-free and stuttered speech. These activities occur during practice sessions and occasionally throughout the day. The child’s parents deliver the treatment in the child’s everyday environment. The ultimate aim of the treatment is to achieve a normal speech rate and speech that does not sound unnatural in any way.
STG Health Services is currently finalizing the implementation of the Oakville Fluency program in Regina, Saskatchewan. If you are located anywhere else in Saskatchewan and have highspeed Internet, online treatment is also a possibility.
Syllable-timed speech involves saying each syllable in time to a rhythmic beat. For example, “The children are play-ing on the tram-po-line.” “The kit-ten is drin-king its milk.” Typically, STS produces vowels of similar duration for each syllable. For young children, it can be useful to give STS a name, for example, “syllable talking”. STS is only used for a short period during this program in order to achieve periods of stutter-free speech. Emphasizing this short-term use of STS to the child aids compliance.
The term “contingencies” refers to when parents give either verbal or non-verbal feedback to their child about their speech either after the child produces a period of stutter-free speech or after a stutter. The contingencies used in the Oakville Program are similar to those used in the Lidcombe Program;1 however, following stutter-free speech, there is no request for self-evaluation, and, following a stutter, a request is typically made for the child to repeat the stuttered word (or phrase containing the stuttered word) using STS. For example, a parent may say “Can you say ‘He is run-ning’ (parent using STS) again?” Parents provide contingencies during practice sessions and during everyday conversations. Praise is used far more frequently than correction.
At the beginning of treatment, the speech pathologist instructs the parent and child how to use STS using demonstration, imitation, and practice. Once the parent and child have learnt how to use STS with the speech pathologist, the child is encouraged to use STS in practice sessions and, later, occasionally during naturally occurring everyday conversations. Initially, STS practice sessions are encouraged 4–6 times per day for about 5–10 minutes each time. When this goal has been attained and there has been a drop in stuttering severity, contingencies for stutter-free speech and stuttering are introduced into the practice sessions and the number of practice sessions is reduced. As stuttering reduces further, STS is withdrawn and practice sessions reduce.
Daily Practice at Home
Parents are responsible for implementing the treatment at home with their child each day. Parents initially consult with the speech pathologist weekly, either by clinic visit or by webcam. Consultations typically last around 45 minutes. Consultations reduce to fortnightly when specific criteria have been met. During each consultation, the speech pathologist instructs the parent how to do the treatment and ensures that it is being done properly.
Registration & Participation Fee
The fee includes access to scheduled Zoom sessions. Additional content and assignment is provided in the learning management system.
Let us Contact you 🙂
When you complete the form below, one of the STG Professionals will contact you to talk about opportunities to start assisting your child. This call takes a maximum of 15 minutes.
and Greater Saskatchewan
In general, STG Health Services can provide services through video conferencing anywhere in Saskatchewan, as long as a broadband highspeed Internet connection is available.