Edna Hill Young


Edna Hill Young was known for her elaborate version of motor speech therapy, the moto-kinesthetic method. The method involved placing children on a table, prone, having them open their mouths, and directly manipulating their articulators. For example, for stimulation of the p sound, Young recommends the following:

Place the thumb and forefinger on the lower jaw, below the lower lip, moving it upward until it presses against the upper lip. Without lifting the hand from contact with the lower jaw, bring the lower lip and jaw downward, quickly and firmly, usually securing the "puff" of air as the lower lip is made to part from the upper" (Young and Stinchfield, 1955, p. 17).

Edna Hill Young's interest in speech therapy came from her own difficulties in speaking. She had a severe malocclusion, and open bite. Her jaw thrust to the right when she talked and she used her tongue against her teeth to produce s and z. (For details see Young & Stinchfield, 1955, pp. 100-104.)

Edna Hill was born in 1878 in Columbus Nebraska to Charles and Ella Hill. She was an elementary school teacher in Albert Lea, Minn. Owatoma State School, Minn, Chicopee, Mass, Springfield, Mass. She was a Corrective Speech Teacher in the Minneapolis Public Schools from 1919 to1920.

In 1923, Young married George Kelson Young. Young began a residential school with her husband, the Hill-Young School for Speech in 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She continued here for five years (1928).

In 1927 Young received her bachelors degree from Winona State Teachers College (Specialized Extension of University of Minnesota).

Young and her husband moved their school to Los Angeles in 1928 and continued operating there for 13 years. Young's school was used as a training program and research source for University of Southern California students and faculty (Stinchfield-Hawk was Univ supervisor). Young's school and therapy methods were the subject of a Rockefeller Grant research project that included Sara Stinchfield Hawk, Lee Edward Travis, Eugene Hahn and Paul Pfaff. The research project ended when the committee members of the research team were called into government service for World War II.

Early after the beginning of the second World War, Young moved to University at Denver, because "it seemed inadvisable to continue the residential school in the costal area" (Young & Stinchfield, 1955, p. 4). In Denver she began another residential speech clinic using moto-kinesthetic approach (the Hill-Young Speech Clinic) (1941-1947).

Edna Hill Young received an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Pedagogy, from Hastings College in Nebraska in 1944.

Writings of Edna Hill Young arranged chronologically

Young, Edna Hill. (1928). Overcoming cleft palate speech. (Pamphlet)

Young, Edna Hill (1928). Help for you who stutter. (Pamphlet

Young, E. H. (1937). Speech help for the infant. Elementary School Speech Journal.

Stinchfield, S. & Young, E. H. (1938). Children with delayed or defective speech: Motor-kinesthetic factors in their training. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Young, E. H. (1940). The moto-kinesthetic method of speech training, Journal of Speech Disorders, 5, 221-225.

Young, E. H. (1942). Conflict in speech patterns. Incorrect associate response. In Eugene Hahn (Ed.). Stuttering: Significant theories and therapies. Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press.

Young, E., & Stinchfield, S. (1955). Moto-kinaesthetic speech training. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.