Monday, August 24, 2009

Thanks Dave

I want to thank Dave for his conference reporting and pictures. If you want to be a guest blogger on a topic or conference, write to me!

Sounds like there is not much new stuff going on, apart the ISA controversy of its chairman. I will comment on the controversy in my next post.

Regarding Dave's conference reporting, a few thoughts

1) What does cluttering have to do with stuttering? Can we really learn something from cluttering for stuttering? Even Per Alm is into cluttering now...

2) I still don't like all this temperament stuff, and the perfectionism link. A complete misguided area of research if you ask me! Far too vague and linked to subtypes for any serious quantitative research. Except this emotional control concept, I can see how this might interfer with treatment.

3) I share his view that most research presentations are too preliminary and not really worth talking about. I always say: do it properly or don't do it at all, or just talk about your experiences. Especially for therapists/clinicians, it's a real cancer. (As a side note: Let me say it clearly: you simply have no clue how to do real research. Why don't you just talk about your experiences as a therapist, about the methods you have used and the reactions you got from the patients. I am not interested in something that vaguely looks like scientific research only because you have used a t-test or similar. Stick with what you do in your day job.)


Dave Rowley said...

1. Seems like we should be able to learn something from cluttering about stuttering, but I'm not sure what! They do appear to often co-occur, but the problem is we know almost nothing about cluttering, so we can't really start to say how what we know about cluttering can help us understand stuttering!

I know you don't like all this temperament stuff, Tom. But I think we need to be able to explain why a) stuttering manifests itself so differently in different individuals, b) why PWS cope so differently with their stutter. Not sure why you are so against subtypes? Except of course that the statistical search for them needs to be done properly and as we'd both agree, it's usually not!

3. Yes, shame about the preliminary findings! Never let it be said you weren't clear about your views on therapists and research!

4. Be interesting to read your views on the ISA controversy. As someone who goes to a lot of conferences, I'd be very keen on your views of a joint IFA/ISA Congress.

Olivier said...

"In summary, it is proposed that stuttering and cluttering are the two opposite disturbances of the initiation of speech segments, with insufficient versus premature initiation."

Per Alm, in
The Dual Premotor Model of Stuttering and Cluttering: A Framework (Proceedings for the IALP Conference, Copenhagen, August 2007)

Anonymous said...

"In summary, it is proposed that stuttering and cluttering are the two opposite disturbances of the initiation of speech segments, with insufficient versus premature initiation."

Per Alm

so a speculative proposal with no is cheap? What's the next step?

Anonymous said...


Sigh. Without a proposal, which can then be tested, how would science work? Tell you what, why don't you tell us what you're doing in stammering research, either carrying it out or getting funding for it?

Olivier said...

Read the wohole text, there are evidence.

Ora said...

Dave - You quoted the SpeachEasy results: "Although no definite conclusions can be drawn from this small (so why not have more?) sample of subjects, the results indicate that 50% (5) of the ten SpeechEasy users had less problems after one year of using the device.. "

(So I guess this means 50% had the same or more problems? Hardly worth reporting is it? And another ten refused to use the device!)

I imagine we'd find the same results with no treatment. Speaking for myself, my fluency level rises and falls from month to month and year to year. Probably any sample of stutterers, without any treatment at all, would improve over a year.

I think I'll spend my $5000 (or whatever the cost is nowadays) on a vacation trip rather than on a SpeachEasy!

Anita S. Blom said...

I would like to stress that the ISA, as an organisation, is an important organisation for all people who stutter as well as parents, people who work with PWS, people who get to meet PWS in their daily lives, and of course SLPs and researchers. To bring us all together, learn from each other and exchange information. Many volunteers are working hard to make this world a better place for PWS and bring those who still are alone, together within this great community. That's why I hope people will consider that, even if there are organisational issues that are about to be solved as we speak, the ISA is a fantastic organisation, which deserves all support and I'm looking forward to the next WC in 2011 and hope to see you all there. Anita Blom

Anonymous said...

I think there is a place for worthwhile 'preliminary studies' out there. For example, a clinician may notice in his/her daily clinical work that a certain variation or therapy technique seems to help stuttering clients. It wouldn't be worthwhile to immediately run a large-scale randomised controlled trial, as it could potentially waste everyones time and money on something that might not actually have a definite therapeutic effect. In such a case, I think it is very sensible to begin a trial with a small number, and if the results look promising, progress to larger trials from there. Additionally, as long as the methodology is similar, results can be pooled together for more statistical power.

Anonymous said...

There were WC in 2004, 2007, so why is the next WC in May 2011? Is the next next WC in 2014 or 2013 and possible locations?

The date requires some explanation?

And a joint IFA/ISA conference, a reality or just talk?

It looks like turn taking (different continents every time IS very important!)

Dave Rowley said...

Hi, since no-one else has commented on the dates, I will. The WC in 2010 was originally due to be in China, but after some time that proved not to be possible. Not sure of the exact reason, but something to do with Chinese politics and the status of the National Association in China, I believe. Argentina then volunteered to take over, but felt they needed more time, hence 2011.No idea about WCs after this. The locations are usually chosen at the preceding WC, so the next location will be chosen in Argentina. Whether they will stay with 2014 or try to get back to the previous cycle I don't know.

I think that there won't be a joint ISA/IFA congress for several years, not before 2013 at least. Can't imagine IFA would even want to negotiate about this with the present problems in ISA.