Parental Perceptions of Children’s Communicative Development at Stuttering Onset
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There has been clinical speculation that parents of young stuttering children have expectations of their children’s communication abilities that are not well-matched to the children’s actual skills. We appraised the language abilities of 15 children close to the onset of stuttering symptoms and 15 age-, sex-, and SES-matched fluent children using an array of standardized tests and spontaneous language sample measures. Parents concurrently completed two parent-report measures of the children’s communicative development. Results indicated generally depressed performance on all child speech and language measures by the children who stutter. Parent report was closely attuned to child performance for the stuttering children; parents of nonstuttering children were less accurate in their predictions of children’s communicative performance. Implications for clinical advisement to parents of stuttering children are discussed.