Dr Catherine Theys and her team have been making excellent progress on their research project to support children who kikiki/stutter.
Dr Theys was awarded a $110,000 Major Project Grant by the CMRF in 2021. 
The study involves 20 children aged 4-7 who stutter and a group who do not stutter.
Using MRI scans, the study is the first to investigate how stuttering therapy changes brain function in young children. 


The team are still recruiting participants for this study and have asked the team at CMRF to share their study information for any families interested in participating.

Enrolment Information:
This is an existing study hosted by the University of Canterbury and overseen by Dr Catherine Theys.

The study is looking at brain differences between children who stutter and children who don’t.
We will look at how these differences change with speech therapy. Children will have a fun experience through play and games throughout the study.

If you have a child:

  • Aged 4 – 7 years 
  • Who is a NZ English speaker
  • With or without a diagnosis of stuttering
  • Has not been diagnosed with any developmental or neurological disorders

All children participating in this study will receive a detailed speech and language assessments and a brain scan. These assessments will be done over 2 to 3 sessions and may take up to 3 hours.

Children who stutter will receive 8 weeks of free speech therapy (at the University of Canterbury).  Approximately 12 hours of therapy will be provided per participant. For children who stutter, speech & language assessments and brain scans will be repeated before and after therapy.  

You will be offered a $25 gift voucher and your child will receive a small gift to say thanks for participation.

Please get in touch with Catherine Theys [email protected] or Fathiya Al’Amri [email protected], if you would like to receive more information or participate in this study.     

PhD student Fathiya Al’Amri has also just recently won the People’s Choice Award of the Three Minute Thesis Competition, hosted annually by the University of Canterbury, presenting her work on this exciting research project.

Congratulations Fathiya!

Watch her presentation here:

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