The Lidcombe Program

A specialized effective treatment program for children who stutter and their parents

Child The Lidcombe program is a highly (91-100%) effective treatment program for young children who stutter aged 3 and a half to 6 years as shown by scientific research studies (Onslow et al., 2003).  This treatment program requires weekly sessions at the clinic, tracking stuttering behaviors to ensure progress, and daily supportive “play” sessions at home with caregivers.  Significant improvement is typically seen within 12 weeks, but will depend on individual circumstances.  See for more details about the Lidcombe program.

Lidcombe treatment is provided by students enrolled in CSD clinical practicum under the supervision of Dr. Sarah Smits-Bandstra, an experienced Lidcombe provider.  Students have the opportunity to learn Lidcombe principles and procedures in preschool stuttering, methods of assessment, and therapy techniques.  Students also have opportunities to conduct research and present at local and national conventions.

The treatment is direct. This means that it involves the parent commenting directly about the child's speech. This parent feedback is overwhelmingly positive. The parent comments primarily when the child speaks without stuttering and only occasionally when the child stutters. The parent does not comment on the child's speech all the time, but chooses specific times during the day in which to give the child feedback.

Parents and ChildThe Lidcombe Program is conducted in two stages. During Stage 1, the parent and child attend the speech clinic once a week and the parent continues with the treatment each day at home. This continues until stuttering either disappears or reaches an extremely low level. Stage 2 of the program starts at this point. The aim of Stage 2 is to keep stuttering away for at least one year. The use of parent feedback during Stage 2 is reduced, as is the number of clinic visits, providing that stuttering remains at a low level it. This maintenance part of the program is essential because it is well known that stuttering may sporadically reappear after a successful treatment.

**Coming soon** The treatment clinic will soon be offering “telepractice” (therapy by video conference) as a treatment option for individuals for whom it is inconvenient to come to the clinic.

***NEW*** Parents and children are welcome to attend our National Stuttering Association St Cloud Chapter Self-Help Group (  Please see website for details, dates and times.  We are also on facebook (



Referred Publications

Smits-Bandstra, S., & Gracco, V. (2013). Speech sequence learning in persons who stutter and persons with Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Motor Behavior. 45 (5), 381-393. doi: 10.1080/00222895.2013.812058.

Smits-Bandstra S., & De Nil, L. (2009). Speech skill learning of persons who stutter and fluent speakers under single and dual task conditions. Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics. 23, 38-57.

Smits-Bandstra, S., & De Nil, L. F. (2007). Sequence skill learning in persons who stutter: implications for cortico-striato-thalamo-cortical dysfunction. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 32, 251-278.

Smits-Bandstra, S., De Nil, L. F., & Saint-Cyr, J. A. (2006). Speech and nonspeech sequence skill learning in adults who stutter. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 31, 116-131.

Smits-Bandstra, S., & Yovetich, Y. (2003). Treatment effectiveness for school aged children who stutter. Journal of Speech Language Pathology and Audiology, 27(2), 125.


Invited Publications

Smits-Bandstra, S. (2011). How people who stutter and people with Parkinson’s disease learn and remember speech therapy skills. Paper presented at the International Stuttering Awareness Day Conference. Retrieved Oct 22, 2011, from

De Nil, L. F., Sasisekaran, J., & Smits-Bandstra, S. (2004). Recent insights into the nature of stuttering: A review and some speculations. Logopedie, 17, 26-38.

Refereed Published Abstracts

Smits-Bandstra, S., Anderson, J., & Steifels, M. (July 2013). “When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade: Positive Thinking Strategies for People who Stutter” [Abstract]. National Stuttering Association Annual Conference Program.

Carlson, K., Peterson, R,. Roberts, A. & Smits-Bandstra, S. (April 2013) “Teaching Easy Onsets Effectively for Optimum Retention” [Abstract]. Minnesota Speech Language and Hearing Conference Program.

Holman, W. & Smits-Bandstra, S. (April 2013). “Comparative effectiveness of practice schedules for chidlren with speech sound disorders” [Abstract]. Minnesota Speech Language and Hearing Conference Program.

McWilliams, E., Rehnstrand, W., Swanberg, B., & Smits-Bandstra, S. (April 2013). “Teaching Pausing Effectively for Optimum Retention” [Abstract]. Minnesota Speech Language and Hearing Conference Program.

Daleiden, J., Onken, J. & Regnier, S. (April 2012). “Transfer of therapy skills: Key principles everyone should know [Abstract]. Minnesota Speech Language and Hearing Conference Program.

Stenerson, S., Swanson, R. & Smits-Bandstra, S. (April 2012) “Making therapy more effective: Key principles everyone should know [Abstract]. Minnesota Speech Language and Hearing Conference Program.

Smits-Bandstra, S. & Gracco, V. (2012). Implicit learning in stuttering and Parkinson’s disease: Event-related potentials [Abstract]. European Symposium on Fluency Disorders Convention Program.

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