MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 6, 2007) — The teasing that hurts all children is doubly hurtful to those who stutter.
Teachers can help by addressing both teasing and stuttering at the beginning of the school year following expert advice in a new brochure published by The Stuttering Foundation.
In addition to tips on handling teasing, the brochure provides guidance on how to deal with reading aloud, calling on the child, and other questions teachers routinely have when a child stutters in their classroom.
Parents of children who stutter often give a copy of The Child Who Stutters: Notes to the Teacher to their child's instructor during the first week of class. The brochure is also available in Spanish.
"Young children are busily learning to talk," explains Dr. Lisa Scott Trautman of Florida State University." As such, they may have effortless repetitions and prolonging of sounds. In most instances," she adds, "This is very normal. If parents and teachers listen to and answer these young children in a patient, calm, unemotional way, the child's speech will probably return to normal."
Some children, however, will go beyond the normal and begin to repeat and prolong sounds markedly," explains Scott Trautman. "They may begin to struggle, tense up, and become frustrated in their efforts to talk. These children need help."
"Any time teachers are concerned about a child's fluency," notes Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation, "they should consult with the school speech clinician as well as the parents to make sure their approach to the child's speech is consistent." She advises teachers, "Talk with the child privately and reassure him or her of your support; let them know that you are aware of their stuttering and that you accept it - and them."
For more answers to questions about stuttering and a free copy of The Child Who Stutters at School: Notes to the Teacher or El Nino Que Tartamudea en la Escuela in Spanish, contact the Stuttering Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org; call toll-free 1-800-992-9392; or download the brochures directly from our web sites at www.stutteringhelp.org and www.tartamudez.org.
The 56-year-old nonprofit foundation also offers 27 books and 24 videotapes on stuttering, including the new video, Stuttering: Straight Talk for Teachers.