National Stuttering Association

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Finding the Right SLP for Your Child

Private Therapy

When seeking out a speech-language pathologist (SLP), it is important to consider their training, clinical experience, and perspectives on assessment and treatment of stuttering. For example, SLPs may hold different perspectives relating to fluency and stuttering acceptance. In speech therapy, some SLPs may focus primarily on the speech behaviors associated with stuttering, while others may target communication holistically without attempting to minimize stuttering in addition to exploring thoughts and emotions. In addition, some speech-language pathologists may hold the certification of Board Certified Specialist in Stuttering, Cluttering and Fluency Disorders (BCS-SCF) to signify the hours of training and clinical practice they have completed in the area of stuttering. However, there are many other specialists in the area of stuttering who do not hold this certification who may be a great fit for your child. Before starting treatment, see what information is available online or talk with the SLP regarding their training, experience, and perspectives on the treatment of stuttering. Below are questions you may consider when trying to find the right clinician:

  • What is the SLP’s specific approach to stuttering? What strategies do they teach, how do they teach those strategies, what programs influence their approach to therapy? Is their approach to therapy a good match for you or your child’s personality, goals, and values?
  • If you are seeking an SLP for your child, you may be able to meet the SLP beforehand to determine whether their personality and approach is a good match for your child. If possible, bring your child with you to observe how they interact with the SLP.
  • What is the SLP doing to stay current and informed? Do they attend continuing education training (CE), such as conferences, workshops, seminars?
  • Does the SLP establish realistic goals for therapy? Are the goals in line with what you expect from therapy? Do they acknowledge that there is not a “cure” for stuttering? You, your child and the therapist should be on the same page.
  • Does the SLP treat the whole person by addressing thoughts, emotions, and goals relating to communication? Do they hold space for your child to share about their experiences outside of the therapy room? Do they appropriately involve family members in the treatment process? Do they include stuttering education and self-advocacy skills in treatment? Are they helping your child develop a positive self-image as an effective communicator?


In a school setting, your child’s Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is often assigned to them. The information below will assist you in creating a positive speech therapy experience at school.

  • Many school SLPs are not trained to work with kids who stutter in a meaningful or supportive manner. They may have only worked with a few children who stutter or are unfamiliar with stuttering treatments outside of fluency-focused therapy. It is important to ask what their experience is and how they will seek out further stuttering education if their experience working with children who stutter is limited.
  • The school SLP should be agreeable to coordinating therapy with your child’s private SLP (if there is one). If you are utilizing a private therapist in addition to school services, it is important that your child receives the same information and messages about stuttering from each provider. Conflicting messages can be confusing to your child and result in less effective and supportive therapy. 
  • In addition to providing speech therapy, the school SLP should assist with creating a supportive environment in the classroom. Part of the school SLP’s role is to keep the classroom teacher informed about what the teacher can do in class to support your child’s communication and ensure that your child receives the same communication opportunities as their peers who do not stutter. 
  • The SLP should maintain open communication with the student, parents, and others involved in the child’s education. They should regularly update you on the student’s progress and involve you in the therapy process.

It is important to keep in mind that while the SLP at your child’s school may not have much experience providing therapy for children who stutter, they are dedicated professionals who want to do what is in the best interests of the children they serve. Keep the lines of communication open between you, your child, the private SLP, and the school SLP. Considering these factors, you can find the right school-based speech pathologist who can provide effective and compassionate stuttering therapy tailored to the student’s needs and goals.