Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Some thoughts about stuttering in school age children

I was consulting with a first grade elementary school teacher today. A little boy in her class stutters. I treat him for stuttering therapy. He volunteers all the time and she wasn't sure if she should call on him often. I discussed with her how wonderful it was that he wasn't letting his speech difficulties stop him from communicating. She agreed and admitted she was uncomfortable with his stuttering. Interestingly the other children were very patient with him. I modelled some voluntary stuttering for her and demonstrated the slow, stretchy speech he is using. I also demonstrated some pullouts for her.

I am going to discuss with this child demonstrating his speech tools for the teacher. I think this will benefit this child I treat. Of course I will do it with him if he is more comfortable. A little bit of education goes along way.

I was reminded how difficult it was for my 10 year old when she was struggling to learn to read. In second grade, she had a teacher who called on her frequently to read out loud. She was ashamed and completely shut down. She is now in 4th grade and a terrific reader. More importantly she loves reading. I recently asked her why she refused to read early on. She replied that her teacher embarrassed her by having her read out loud. I often think how I should have had her educate the teacher on how it made her feel. Maybe Leah would have raised her hand and read what was easiest for her. I tried explaining it to the teacher. Would she have been more compassionate if Leah would have told her? Not sure. I guess the point is that it is better to get things out in the open.

Just want to point out a website www.janicelevy.com. Janice Levy is a wonderful and talented children's author. It is worth checking out. She has written great books for kids.

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