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Brief Report: Treating Stuttering in an Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Abstract

Stuttering and autism can co-occur and when they do it presents a significant communication challenge. This study examined the effectiveness of a modified version of the fluency rules program (FRP; Runyan and Runyan, Stuttering and related disorders of fluency, in 2007) to reduce stuttering frequency in a man with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The participant’s percentage of stuttered words (%SW) was calculated during conversational interactions with multiple conversation partners both within and outside of the clinic treatment sessions. Visual inspection methods revealed a reduction in  %SW from an average of 14.5 %SW during baseline to 2.07 %SW during the withdrawal phase. The mean baseline reduction in  %SW from baseline to the second treatment phase was 91.8 %. The FRP holds promise for reducing  %SW in persons with ASD who stutter.

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Acknowledgments

We thank our participant for his willingness to contribute to our knowledge about stuttering and autism. We thank Drs. Adrienne Hancock and Francys Subiaul for their comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. We thank Michelle Alvarez, Alana Krieger, and Siobhan Chapman for their assistance in data transcription and analysis.

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Correspondence to Shelley B. Brundage.

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This research was conducted by the Cory J. Whelan in partial fulfillment of the degree Master of Arts in Speech and Hearing Science at the George Washington University.

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Brundage, S.B., Whelan, C.J. & Burgess, C.M. Brief Report: Treating Stuttering in an Adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord 43, 483–489 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-012-1596-7

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