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Posted on September 19, 2012 2:32 am
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Adam Kopel
Adam Kopel
Reps: 26
How to deal with stuttering students
1.If reading aloud or another verbal turn taking exercise is planned, call on the child first to decrease anticipation. Consider how the speed or tempo of the exercise may impact fluency.

2.Phrase questions to only require a yes/no answer or short phrase until ready for more complex answers. This allows the child to experience success speaking and at the same time have her knowledge tested.

3.Where possible, call on her when her hand is raised. This usually indicates she is comfortable speaking at that moment. New speaking successes build future confidence.

4.Be conscious of your facial expressions and nonverbal feedback when a child stutters. Language is 70% nonverbal and a child can read facial expressions by 12 months of age. Do your best to maintain comfortable facial expressions and relaxed “body language” while the child is speaking to you. Unconditional listening is ideal. Modeling of slow, relaxed speech can be helpful.

5.Refrain from advice such as “slow down,” “start over” or “take a breath.” This type of advice does more damage than good. This advice tells the child stuttering is not approved of and raises herself consciousness about stuttering. It is particularly harmful when a child is corrected in front of her peers. Let her finish sentences or words instead of completing them.

6.Be careful not to convey a sense of time pressure to the child. Rapid turn taking, attendance roll call, and interruptions also convey a sense of time pressure.

7.Teasing cannot be permitted. Most children seek approval from their teacher and the teacher should enlist the students help with this matter. Punishing those who tease generally does not help. Sitting down the bully and the victim for a face-to-face after class can be helpful; teach sorry and forgiving.

8.If the child has already developed stuttering severity that is obvious to her and her peers, it may be beneficial to educate the class about stuttering. Use caution to “frame” stuttering in a way that the child’s self-image is intact. Consult parents and the SLP if this is being considered. A general inservice about “differences” between people can be used as a metaphor before mentioning speech. Better understanding can decrease teasing and persistent questions about the speech by peers.

9.Get feedback from child, parent and speech pathologist, where involved, before assigning child to a play or other highly demanding speaking situation. The objective is always to provide a successful speaking situation.

10.If you expect a substitute teacher to fill in, please prepare them for the child’s special needs.

11.Excusing a child from participating may develop secondary gains for stuttering- she may have less incentive to improve. Again, consult parents and SLP if this scenario arises.
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Comments posted for this Tip: 3

Reps: 100
Your tips on stuttering students is thorough and very insightful. If I had this list in my classroom, then I would know how to effectively teach a student with a stutter. Number three stood out to me because it states what to do when the student raises his or her hand and wants to be involved in the discussion. The teacher needs to make sure to call on the student because the student feels comfortable speaking at that moment in front of the class.
  Posted on: October 3, 2015 2:03 am

Reps: 101
These are great tips
  Posted on: October 16, 2015 1:37 am

Reps: 200
These are good tips to help someone who isn't familiar with how to deal with this situation.
  Posted on: October 8, 2017 11:16 pm

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