Stuttering and Autism Spectrum Disorders

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Feb. 19, 2008) — A new brochure published by the Stuttering Foundation seeks to answer questions and give helpful tips for parents and professionals dealing with stuttering and autism spectrum disorders including both Asperger’s syndrome and autism.

Treatment for stuttering is based upon each child’s needs, and this is particularly true when autism is present. A child with autism who stutters may find social interaction and self-monitoring more difficult. Therefore, stuttering treatment will focus on using speech in social settings.

Speech-language pathologist, Kathleen Scaler Scott of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, offers some timely tips on what parents can do to help:

1. Have a consistent organized schedule.

2. Keep instructions simple, clear, and concise.

3. Provide visual cues, concrete examples and drawings to increase the child’s understanding.

4. Use good speaking habits yourself such as keeping eye contact and listening to what your child is saying, not to how he is talking. 

5. Allow him time to finish his thoughts.

“These tips are valid for working with all children,” adds Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “They are not just for children who struggle with their speech.”

For more information on stuttering and a free copy of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Stuttering, visit the Stuttering Foundation at www.stutteringhelp.org or call toll-free 800-992-9392.