Category Archives: Self-monitoring & self-evaluation

I know from the workshop I attended that we aren’t meant to ask a child to self evaluate ‘bumpy talking’. I find that this is something parents often do and I was wondering if you could explain again why we shouldn’t be doing this.

Stutter free speech is the goal of the program, not stuttering. Therefore it makes sense to ask children to self-evaluate the targeted behaviour. Self evaluation is a desirable but not an essential part of the Lidcombe Program. If the child naturally starts to self-evaluate their speech then this may be encouraged. However, a parent or clinician asking a child to self evaluate a stuttered utterance might be extremely and powerfully negative.

I have heard that self-monitoring is not essential in the Lidcombe Program. Can you explain to me what you mean by this as I’m not quite sure how a child controls his bumps without it, and how self-monitoring is different from self-evaluation?

It is correct that self-motoring is not essential in the Lidcombe Program. Neither self-monitoring of stuttered speech nor self-monitoring of stutter-free speech are response classes in the Lidcombe program. It is not a skill that the speech language pathologist teaches preschool children. It may be a focus with school age children. Self-evaluation on the other hand, is a part of the Lidcombe Program, but only in so far as it is requested as part of one of the contingencies. Self-evaluation is only ever requested for stutter-fee speech, for example:

• Child: My paint’s finished
• Parent: Was that smooth?
• Child: Yes
• Parent: I think so too – great talking! Here’s more paint for you

It has not been established why exactly the Lidcombe Program is effective, however it does not appear that preschool children are actively ‘controlling’ their bumps. In the Lidcombe Program the speech language pathologist teaches parents how to structure conversations to maximise stutter free speech and provide contingencies – both in the structured conversations and in everyday conversations. The stutter free speech eventually generalises to normal everyday conversations.