School-Age Stuttering Therapy
Parents and families play an active role in a child's therapy. Families learn how to facilitate positive communication within their home and how to make talking easier. We help each child begin the journey to become an outstanding communicator. In therapy, we address all aspects of stuttering
Motor (make talking easier, ease out of moments of stuttering, forward moving speech.)
Affective (how your child feels about stuttering)
Social (how stuttering impacts your child at school and when interacting with friends)
Cognitive (how the speech mechanism works and what happens when you get stuck in your talking)
As soon as each child is ready and comfortable, we move to real-life speaking situations (i.e. talking with friends and family members, in the classroom, asking questions in class, talking to teachers, ordering at restaurants, classroom presentations etc.).
Frequently Asked Questions about School- Age Therapy
What is stuttering?
Stuttering is a communication disorder characterized by disruptions or disfluencies in speech. These disfluencies typically present themselves as repetitions, prolongations, or blocks,. In addition, children who stutter may exhibit physical tension in their speech muscles. At some point typically between 3rd-7th grade, children who stutter begin to develop feelings of fear, shame, or embarrassment. This combination might cause a child who stutters to develop secondary characteristics (e.g. closing eyes, taping foot), avoid stuttering, and avoid speaking situations.
What does school-age stuttering therapy look like?
Children and parents participate in therapy together. This opens up the line of communication about stuttering and parents and child learn together. Therapy is tailored for each child's talking needs and level of development. Therapy can include learning about stuttering, discovering how the child stutters, learning about the speech mechanism and what muscles we use for talking. The child learns how to make taking easier through stuttering modification and/or fluency enhancing techniques. The child also learns effective communication skills by using eye contact, advocating for oneself and being comfortable with disfluencies in his speech. It's important we teach the child that it is ok to get stuck in their talking. This feeling that he is not doing anything wrong will reduce his emotional reaction, thus reducing his physical tension, which leads to less stuttering.
Will my child always stutter?
Unfortunately, we can not determine if your child will become an adult who stutters. But what we can promise is with exceptional stuttering therapy your child can become a happy, successful adult who can effectively communicate, be confident and speak freely.
What can I do to help my child before getting therapy?
Listen to your child talking, make eye contact, and try not to interrupt
Try not to give frustrating advice such as "slow down", or fill in his words
If your child has siblings, try to encourage turn taking in talking to reduce time pressure
If your child is having a tough talking day, you can talk about it! Talking about stuttering will be helpful to your child and will actually relieve your child’s frustration. You can say, “Today seems like a tough talking day and that is frustrating/hard. But, I really like how you kept trying and you told me what you wanted to say! I love listening to your ideas so thank you for sharing them with me.”
Why are saying certain words so hard?
Many people who stutter have difficulty with certain words. These are typically the words that you can't change. For example, your name, street name, school, etc.) These words become hard because there is a negative or multiple negative experiences associated with saying these words. Once someone stutters on a word and associates it as being hard, then the next time that word comes up, the person anticipates it, tenses up and voila stuttering occurs. All words are created equal except when we begin asscoiating them as being hard. Once we think of them as being difficult, then we tense up and they actually do become very difficult and that stuttering is very real!! But the good news is we can reverse this cycle and help the child make these words easy again and equal to any other word he says!!!!
My child has had speech therapy is the past, how will this be differernt?
We offer a multi-dimentional stuttering therapy that addresses the entirety of stuttering. Many times, people who have only participated in fluency enhancing therapy (therapy that just focuses on fluency) experience immediate relapse. Fluency enhancing therapy only addresses the tip of the iceberg, the physical aspects of stuttering (repetitions, blocks, prolongations). Unfortunately, like stuttering, if you try to chip away at the top of an iceberg it just comes right back to the surface. Thus, for stuttering therapy to be effective, it is critical to treat all aspects of stuttering: the motor, social, cognitive and affective components of stuttering.