Stuttering Causes School Woes: Free Brochure Offers 8 Tips for Teachers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 19, 2009) — When teachers hear a child begin to stutter, the immediate reaction is one of concern mixed with a host of urgent questions.
 
Should they tell the child to "slow down and relax?" Should they complete words for the child? Should they expect the same quality and quantity of work from this student? 
 
The nonprofit Stuttering Foundation answers these and many other questions in its new brochure, 8 Tips for Teachers
 
"Young children are busily learning to talk," explains Lisa Scott, Ph.D., of The Florida State University. “As such, they may make speech 'mistakes,' such as 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 Dr. Scott. "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 a free copy of 8 Tips for Teachers and more answers to questions about stuttering, call toll-free 800-992-9392 or visitwww.stutteringhelp.org.
 
Note to reporters and editors: President Jane Fraser is available for interviews at 202-686-4494. Ask for our media resource kit on stuttering.