It’s that time of year again! New pencils, books, classrooms, friends, and teachers. Read on for tips and advice on how to make the upcoming school year the best it can be for both your student AND for you!
New school year, new teacher? Bring your teacher up to speed about stuttering by giving them one of our free Answers for Educators brochures (free download). Also encourage teachers to visit the Who We Help: Teachers section of the NSA website, which is designed to help teachers feel more comfortable with their ability to support children who stutter. In this section educators will learn more about what stuttering is (and what stuttering is not), what the goals of therapy are for school-age children who stutter, and how teachers can help children communicate more effectively in the classroom. Lastly, check out IEP Ideas for Parents by Joan Duffield and Transitioning to Middle School by Stephanie Coppen for more back-to-school tips and ideas.
Educate Health Care Professionals
Planning to visit your pediatrician’s office for that back-to-school physical? Why not take that opportunity to educate your physician as well with one of our new Information for Pediatricians and Family Physicians brochures? This brochure is filled with useful, concise information that will be helpful to pediatricians when answering questions from parents about their child’s stuttering, and is just one step in the outreach currently underway to educate pediatricians and family physicians about childhood stuttering. With the correct information and a basic understanding of childhood stuttering, medical professionals can also assist parents in making the appropriate choices regarding a speech evaluation with a speech-language pathologist. Click the link for a free downloadable PDF, or contact us for a hard copy.
Encourage your student to talk about stuttering to their classmates. Many kids choose to do a classroom presentation about stuttering, which is an excellent way to educate the class about their speech. Kids who have talked to their classmates about stuttering have found that once their peers understand stuttering, teasing and mimicking don’t happen as much. Your child is the best person to help their classmates understand, because he/she is the expert about their speech! Check out our Guide to Classroom Presentations for more info!
Working with SLPs
Parents should work alongside the school therapist to discuss their child’s therapy. We know that finding an SLP who understands stuttering can be a challenge, so we’ve put together some guidelines to help you. It is important to pair stuttering support group involvement with therapy from a qualified speech and language pathologist stuttering specialist. “Stuttering Specialists” are speech-language pathologists who have been recognized by the “Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders” as having achieved advanced training and clinical skill for working with people who stutter and their families. Visit the Who We Help: Parents section of our website for support, tips, advice and a directory of stuttering specialists.
Check out our free newsletters for advice from other families on how they view and manage stuttering. Family Voices is our Family Programs newsletter for kids, teens, parents, SLPs and others who support them. All of the articles are written by members of the NSA who are excited to tell their story or share information about stuttering. Each issue is filled with articles, tips, and ideas on school and other family-related topics. Archived issues of Family Voices and current issues of Letting Go are always easy to find on our homepage.
Ongoing support is KEY! The NSA has close to 200 local support group chapters all over the United States. The purpose of local chapters is to provide connections and support for people who stutter and their families. Find an NSAKids (ages 7-12), TWST (ages 13-17), or Family (ages 7-17) group in your area!