This study describes relationships between speech, language, and related behaviors exhibited during an initial diagnostic evaluation by 2- to 6-year-old children referred for evaluation of their speech and language development. These children were referred as a result of their parents’ concerns that they might be at risk for stuttering. Subjects were 100 children (85 boys and 15 girls; mean age=54.7 months; SD=12.2 months) who appeared to be representative of the children that clinicians are likely to evaluate in a clinical setting. Analyses were based on a retrospective examination of detailed diagnostic records prepared during the diagnostic evaluations. Results indicated that children recommended for treatment exhibited significantly higher scores than children recommended for reevaluation or for neither treatment nor reevaluation on all measures of speech fluency except the duration of disfluencies (which approached, but did not reach, significance). Importantly, analyses also revealed significant behavioral overlaps between children in the three recommendation subgroups, suggesting that absolute referral criteria probably should not be used when making treatment recommendations. In addition, diagnostic testing revealed that a proportion of these children exhibited concomitant difficulties with language, phonology, or oral motor skills, suggesting that stuttering is not necessarily independent of other aspects of children’s speech and language development. Based on the distribution of children’s scores on a variety of measures in this relatively large database, benchmarks are presented that may provide clinicians with a means for comparing their own treatment recommendations to those made by others.

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