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Outcome of stuttering therapy on Egyptian school-aged children using the speak freely program




The training program presented depends on improving the physical dimension for stutters by teaching both stuttering modification and fluency-shaping techniques based on the Speak Freely Program.

Aim of the work

This study is designed to adapt and apply the ‘Speak Freely Program’ of stuttering intervention for Arabic-speaking school-aged stuttering children and to explore its effectiveness as a therapeutic tool.

Subjects and methods

The present work was carried out on 25 stuttering children of both sexes in the age range of 7–18 years. The participants were divided into two age groups: group I (7-12 years) and group II (12.1–18 years). Each participant was subjected to the protocol of stuttering evaluation as follows: (a) assessment of history and analysis of complaints; (b) observation of features of stuttered speech (core behavior, secondary reactions, devices to cancel stuttering, escape, antiexpectancy) and overt behaviors; (c) Stuttering Severity Instrument (SSI-3) was used to assess moments of stuttering in a speech sample and reading aloud; (d) psychometric battery was used to compare between pretherapeutic and post-therapeutic anxiety and depression scale; (d) two objective evaluations were used: first, spectral analysis to measure the voice onset time, formant transition, and vowel duration for all participants’ fluent productions of monosyllabic words with initial /t/ and /d/, and second, Visipitch to measure fundamental frequency, relative average perturbation, amplitude, shimmer, voiced percent (voiced%), voiceless%, and pause% in an automatic, reading, and spontaneous.


The study showed that the younger stutterers achieved better outcome with the therapeutic program. The results of the SSI-3 and the anxiety and the depressive state of the studied children, respectively, showed a highly significant difference between the pretherapeutic and the post-therapeutic values of the two groups studied. Formant transition of the (voiced and voiceless) and the vowel duration of (voiceless) monosyllabic words showed a difference after therapy. Both groups showed higher post-therapeutic values for the voiced%, voiceless%, and the amplitude measurements.


To conclude, stuttering therapy alters the acoustic properties of stutterers’ fluent speech concomitant with reducing stuttering frequency speech samples.


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Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. M. El-Maghraby MD.

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Conflicts of Interest

None declared.

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Abo Ras, Y.A., El-Maghraby, R.M. & Madkour, W.M. Outcome of stuttering therapy on Egyptian school-aged children using the speak freely program. Egypt J Otolaryngol 31, 188–195 (2015).

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  • speak freely
  • stuttering
  • treatment of stuttering