The Travers Reid Award 2020

Congratulations to Rakesh Chowkalli Veerabhadrappa, a doctoral student at the All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, India, who is the recipient of the Travers Reid Award. This year we received a very strong group of nominations from all over the world, but the academic committee at the Oxford Dysfluency Conference was unanimous that Rakesh’s proposal stood out.

The project is titled, ‘Adaptation and validation of the Speech Situation Checklist-Emotional Reaction (SSC-ER) for Kannada-speaking school-age children who do and do not stutter’.  The background and need for the study came from the below points:

  • It is critical that Speech language Therapists (pathologists) understand the emotional experience of CWS (children with stammers) and that there are tools which help children articulate this.
  • The SSC-ER is a widely used scale to identify speech-related anxiety. The norms for this scale have been established in western population.
  • BUT there is a lack of tools to assess negative emotional reactions in Kannada-speaking CWS
  • Kannada is language in southern India which is spoken by 68 million people

Why we chose this study

Rakesh’s research fills this gap by completing the extensive research necessary to adapt and validate the Speech-Situation Checklist-Emotional Reaction amongst a population of Kannada-speaking school age children who do and do not stutter. His research will help speech and language therapists (pathologists) have a comprehensive understanding of a child’s experience – their internal experience of stuttering – and to direct therapy in line with this. Furthermore, there is a remarkable size, scope and potential clinical utility of this project.

What was involved

A translated version of the SSC-ER was administered to 375 children in total, 275 CWNS (children with no stammer) and 100 CWS. It was found that CWS had statistically significant elevated speech-related anxiety compared to CWNS. It was also found that their anxiety increased as age and severity of stuttering increased.

Thank you to everyone who contributed as well as to all who were nominated and congratulations again to Rakesh.

Check back closer to the end of the year for when the Travers Reid Award 2021 entries are open…

Rakesh pictured with the award.
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