If you have a student in your class who stammers, you may be unsure of how you can help. This sections offers you advice and tips of how you can support children and young people who stammer, and some of the projects we have planned.
“A good teacher doesn’t interrupt what I’m saying. They give me time to speak.” “After I’ve been asked a question if I was given the time to start thinking about the answer and my speech as well it would be very helpful because I could think of some techniques for my speech”.
‘Stammering: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Other Professionals’.
Developed by Rustin, L., Cook, F., Botterill, W., Hughes, C. & Kelman, E, it offers advice and information for teachers about dealing with younger children, primary school children and secondary-aged pupils who stammer.
Title: Stammering: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Other Professionals
Written by: Rustin, L., Cook, F., Botterill, W., Hughes, C. & Kelman, E.
Published by: David Fulton: London ISBN 1-85346-585-2
This is available from a number of online shops including Amazon.
Young people who stammer
“I don’t think that the stammer is my main feature or characteristic, I’m just a normal 18 year old.”
“People usually judge you by your first appearance and if the first thing you do is talk funny people do sometimes think that you’re not as bright.”
Certain situations make us stammer more. Many of us find being put on the spot or under pressure the hardest.
- Arrange a one-to-one session to acknowledge the problem and to discuss alternative strategies which might be helpful for reducing pressures in areas such as registration, debates, presentations
- Try to be flexible about oral tasks/exams – are there alternatives? Does the task have to be given a time limit? Does it have to be in front of a large group?
- Refer the child to a Speech and Language Therapist if required/requested
- Give them opportunities to talk and give them time to speak
- Try to use the same eye contact as you would with a fluent student
- Speak in a calm manner and try to appear at ease, rather than rushing
- Resist the temptation to guess the word or to finish the sentence
- Listen to what the child is saying, not how they are talking
- Share information amongst teaching staff, particularly as children transition to a new class
- Keep cover and supply teachers up to date with information too
- Contact the child’s Speech and Language Therapist to discuss concerns and ways to manage stammering in class
The following suggestion sheets have been developed by our partner the Michael Palin Centre. It offers advice and suggestions in regard to how ou can support a pupil/student that stammers. Every pupil will react different, and support levels may vary.
Download the suggestion sheet here.