The National Stuttering Association (NSA) recognizes the central role that teachers and other educators can play in shaping the lives of young children. Often, we receive calls from educators who are not sure how to help children who stutter. All children benefit when their teachers understand and support them. For children who stutter, this is particularly important because of the unique difficulties they may have in interacting with their peers.
The NSA has many resources to help teachers feel more comfortable with their understanding of stuttering and with their ability to support students who stutter.
Immediate Helpful Tips:
- Finishing sentences and filling in words is not generally helpful. Even though you may be trying to help, this can put even more pressure on the child/student who stutters.
- Be a good listener. Maintain normal eye contact and do not seem impatient, embarrassed, or alarmed. Wait patiently until the child is finished speaking.
- Don’t give advice such as; “Slow down,” “Take a breath,” or “Relax.” These are simplistic responses to a complex problem.
- Let the child know, by your manner and your actions, that you are listening to what they are saying, not how they are saying it.