No AccessLanguage, Speech, and Hearing Services in SchoolsResearch Article5 Jan 2022

Outcomes Following Participation in a Support-Based Summer Camp for Children Who Stutter

    Purpose:

    Self-help and support activities are often recommended for people who stutter, and there is growing interest in understanding whether and how such experiences might be beneficial for children who stutter. The purpose of this study was to explore the potential impact of participation in Camp SAY, an overnight support-based summer camp experience for children who stutter, by measuring changes in scores on the Overall Assessment of the Speaker's Experience of Stuttering (OASES).

    Method:

    Participants were 107 children who stutter (age range: 8–18 years) who attended Camp SAY during the summers of 2013, 2015, and/or 2016. We examined changes in OASES scores (a) pre- to postcamp, (b) the durability of changes 6 months after the conclusion of the camp, and group differences (c) between school-age campers and teenage campers and (d) between first-time campers and those who had previously attended the camp.

    Results:

    Comparison of precamp to postcamp scores revealed significant improvements related to reactions to stuttering, quality of life, and overall adverse impact of stuttering. Scores on each subsection of the OASES were maintained (and further improved) 6 months after camp. There were no significant differences between school-age campers and teenage campers. Both first-time and returning campers showed significant improvements related to reactions to stuttering, though first-time campers had a significantly larger improvement in attitudes toward communication related to stuttering than returning campers.

    Conclusion:

    These outcomes suggest that participation in support activities, like Camp SAY, is associated with significant reductions in the overall adverse impact of stuttering and can therefore be beneficial for children who stutter.

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