Staff
& Professionals

How to help young people who Stammer

Stammering can be very frustrating and embarrassing. The Speech and Language Therapist can assess, treat, and/or advise the client, family and carers, but these are things that you can do to help someone who stammers.

Do:


Slow your own speech down slightly. Children may find it easier to speak clearly if they speak slowly. However asking them to slow down is likely to make them feel stressed or more hurried. The best way to react is to slow the pace of the conversation naturally by slowing your own speech.

Maintain good eye contact. This lets the child knows you that you are listening and are interested.

Listen to what is said, not how the child says it. This will help to increase confidence and reduce the pressure on the child when he/she talks.

Use simple language that is easy for the child to understand to reduce the overall difficulty of the conversation.

Give opportunities for fluent speech. Activities such as singing or reciting familiar rhymes may be easier. Speaking aloud may be easier if the child is allowed to speak in unison with someone else.

Set aside one to one time to provide the opportunity for a shy child to approach you regarding work that they might find difficult. With older children this might also give the opportunity for a sensitive discussion of their difficulties. If they are aware that it is ok to stammer this can often reduce anxiety and actually make speech more fluent.

Comment on emotions that may be making a situation more stressful, e.g. ‘I can see that you are upset’. Avoid highlighting specific errors in speech.

 


Don’t:


Don’t ask the child to slow down, take a deep breath or start again.

Don’t finish his/her sentences or try to guess the word.

Don’t draw attention to the child’s problems or allow anyone to laugh at them.

Don’t interrupt. This makes people feel rushed.

Don’t ask too many questions. When you need to ask questions, try to give alternatives e.g. ‘Did it happen at home or at school?’

Don’t keep a child waiting too long for their turn to speak in class, this can allow their anxiety to build up.Don’t ask the child to repeat something they have already said.

 

 


There is further information on the STAMMA website (British Stammering Association) https://stamma.org/

 

 

If you are concerned about a child in your class, you can refer him/her to the Speech and Language Therapy service, with the parents permission.

 

Stammering groups

If there is a child in your class who is currently known to the Speech and Language Therapy service or has been known to the service within the last 12 months, they and their Parents/ Carers could be invited to our Stammering Groups for school age children. Our Stammering Groups are typically held during school holidays.

 

To find out more information about our Stammering Groups and whether attending a group would be appropriate for your pupil, please contact

Judith Patel- Speech and Language Therapist on 0161 206 2697

Local Initiatives

Early Years Initiatives

Our Early years team are currently working together with the Assosciation of Greater Manchester Authorities, this includes a rollout of language screening of children using Wellcomm tool.

School Age Initiatives

This is an area currently under development. There are a number of exciting developments to look forward to in the upcoming months in regards to how we work in schools.

 

 Enhanced Services initiatives

The Enhanced Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service offer bought-in input in schools. This might involve universal input, individual or group interventions. They also support schools and staff to develop communication friendly environments and delivering training. For further information, please contact Fiona Taylor – fiona.taylor@srft.nhs.uk

 

I have found working with the speech therapist very beneficial. She helps me to set achievable goals for the children by coming into the nursery and interacting with the children and getting to know them. She talks to us on a regular basis and updates us on what targets she would like the children to achieve next. She teaches us new strategies to use with the children which we find really useful, we try to incorporate this into everyday activities. Parent’s often comment on how much they appreciate the advice from our therapist. They also comment on how much progress their children have made since visiting her. We don’t know what we would do without her!

Anneka Williamson, Children’s Centre Practitioner

“It brought different activities to his usual routine which he enjoyed and encouraged him to participate”

Parent

“I have two children who are supported by the speech and language therapy service. The therapists have lots of patience with my children. Both Christipher and Marcus have come on a lot. Marcus now has lots more confidence and he talks much more in the classroom. Christipher isn’t as stressed anymore, his therapist has taught me exactly what to do. If I need any help, she is very easy to approach. Before I try new things with Christipher I can check with her first. The therapist knows him very well. She has worked wonders with him. Without her, I wouldn’t know what to do.”

Nicola, Mum of Christipher and Marcus

"My son Lewis has been attending speech and language for a few years. He has come on briliantly and is more confident. His speech is so much clearer now. He also enjoys the sessions. Jean gives me loads of ideas about how to continue helping him at home. He gets work sheets to take home which also he enjoys doing. Lewis has a short attention span and can find it difficult to concentrate for long, but Jean makes it very interesting for Lewis and different every session."

Tracy, Lewis

"I am Megan’s mum. Megan was identified as having speech and language difficulties when she was at primary school. Since this time she has been supported by the Education Inclusion Service Speech and Language team. This has made a huge difference to the development of Megan’s speech and language. Not only do they support Meg, they also support the staff at the school in delivering the programmes that Megan needs. The team are also there to answer any questions that I may have and will send us regular information on Megan’s target’s, what they are and if she has achieved them. Megan enjoys the sessions that she attends at school and they are delivered at times that try not to impact too greatly on her daily school life."

Hayley Robinson, Megan

EPs and SALT frequently work together during Multi agency meetings to Clarify individual concerns and strengths. We develop joint objectives, that are regularly reviewed And evaluated to improve outcomes for children and YP. Parents and teachers comment that this work is effective and helps to increase their Understanding and knowledge. Jointly we increase schools capacity, through conversations and training, to meet the needs of their pupils.

Joanne Snee- Educational Psychologist

“I couldn't be happier Grayson has come on so much in these 6 weeks. It has helped 100%. Thank you so much”

Parent of Grayson

“The service has been really helpful, the staff also been very kind and experienced. My child has learnt and developed some new communication skills and I also as the mom have known new ways to help my child through. Thanks”

Anonymous Parent

“I have not tried to phone as I am deaf. I felt like I was listened to with the use of a BSL interpreter. My son enjoyed coming into the room and playing with the toys.”

Anonymous Parent