Pre-school Children

Our treatment

We specialise in stuttering treatment for pre-school children using treatments, such as the Lidcombe Program, that have been shown to be effective for children under the age of six. This is an evidence-based program that uses a behavioural approach to treating stuttering. This is achieved by praising the child for fluent speech, then gradually helping them to identify and correct their stuttering.

Research has found The Lidcombe Program to be most effective in eliminating stuttering in preschool children up to the age of six. However, principles of this program can be used to treat children up to 10-12 years.

Our treatments are provided by supervised undergraduate or Masters students in speech pathology. Supervision of students is by speech pathologists who are invested in applying best practice and evidence-based treatment for children who stutter.

We like to approach treatment choice by considering:

1. Parent concerns.

2. Parent information about stuttering and understanding of their child's stuttering.

3. Parents and child knowing that we will work collaboratively with them to achieve the best outcomes.

4. We will provide parents/carers with treatment that is supported by well-designed and rigorous research.

Features of the Lidcombe Program

  • Treatment is delivered by the parent/significant other in the child's everyday environment.
  • Treatment training is provided by the speech pathologist.
  • Treatment is provided in the form of 'Parental Verbal Contingencies', i.e. Praising for stutter-free speech and careful, guided correction of stuttering.
  • The program should be a positive and fun experience for the child.
  • The parent is trained to rate the severity of their child's stuttering each day.
  • The program involves weekly visits to the clinic.

The program is carried out over two stages:

Stage one

  • Attend clinic once a week
  • Treatment is given during 10-15 minute structured conversations by the parent/significant other in the child's normal
  • Structured conversations ensure most of the child's speech is stutter-free and can therefore be praised by the parent.
  • The parent is gradually instructed to give verbal contingencies in unstructured conversations at various times of the day.
  • Correction of stuttering, if appropriate
  • By the end of stage one, treatment occurs mostly in unstructured conversation.

Stage two

  • Designed to maintain the fluency achieved in stage one.
  • The parent/significant other progressively withdraws verbal contingencies.
  • Attend clinic less frequently.

Whilst these are the key features essential to the success of the Lidcombe Program, speech pathologists will work with the family to tailor the program to meet individual needs and provide a positive experience.

Research evidence for the Lidcombe Program is consistent in showing that it is very effective in reducing or eliminating stuttering in pre-schoolers.

Westmead program

This is an alternative treatment for children who stutter and is also supported by research to show that it can be effective. The program uses Syllable-Timed-Speech (STS) to reduce stuttering and  it can have good outcomes for pre-schoolers and school-age children who stutter.

The Westmead Program  is conducted in two stages and in line with the clinical trials, parents are trained to practice the technique 4-6 times daily for 5-6 minutes until stuttering is eliminated (typically in preschoolers), almost eliminated or markedly reduced.

Parents are also trained to deliver the Westmead Program to their children and daily practice sessions with weekly clinic visits until desired outcomes are achieved.

Application Forms

Please complete and return the following application forms.  These forms must be completed before a referral will be processed.

If any assistance is required to complete these forms, please call clinic reception on (03) 9479 1921 or email to request assistance.


Our fees are not refundable through Medicare or private health insurance. Concession is available on the presentation of a Health Care Card. Fees may be altered according to family income and individual circumstances. For other programs or group therapy, different fees will apply.

Other important information