About the presenter: Judy Kuster, M.S. in speech-language pathology and M.S. in counseling, is an associate professor in Communication Disorders at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She is well-published in Internet resources and has presented at state, national and international conferences. She is the webmaster for Net Connections for Communication Disorders and Sciences and the Stuttering Home Page as well as the coordinator of this online conference. She holds ASHA's Specialty Recognition in Stuttering and is a member of the Division #4 Task Force on continuing education. She is a member of the National Stuttering Association, the International Fluency Association and the International Stuttering Association.

You can post Questions/comments about the following paper to Judy Kuster before October 22, 2002.

Filling your Fluency Files Affordably

by Judith Maginnis Kuster
from Minnesota, USA

There are numerous challenges for speech-language pathologists who treat children who stutter in the schools - high caseloads, short therapy sessions, grouping children with dissimilar problems, lack of available therapy over summer months, difficulty scheduling meetings with parents, finding appropriate materials. This article is designed to address the last of these challenges - finding materials, especially materials that will fit into a depleted school budget. The materials in this article are limited to those that are either freely available, can be made by the creative clinician, or are available commercially for under $20 in most cases.

Getting Started

Four excellent resources for the speech-language pathologist who works with children who stutter are:

Although all of the above resources have many helpful materials for parents, teachers, and children who stutter, the clinician should not simply encourage them to "read a book from the SFA, NSA, or FRIENDS" or "search the Stuttering Home Page." Not only may they find information that does not relate to a particular child, they may also be overwhelmed by the amount of material available. Instead, the clinician should act as a guide, suggesting appropriate material. Several examples of such material is provided below. Although all of the prices and addresses provided were correct at the time this article was submitted, the reader is cautioned that prices, addresses, and availability change, and what is here today may be gone tomorrow. There may also be many other excellent resources available besides those listed.

Therapy materials and ideas freely available on the Internet

Diagnostic materials

Materials designed to educate children about stuttering Specific treatment suggestions Group or day-long program ideas
Special Challenges: Working on Attitudes and Feelings

Teasing and Bullying

Dealing with feelings about stuttering
Enhancing self esteem

Presentations in the Classroom

Children And Teens Who Stutter Connect With Each Other
  • Erin Dyer Olson and Phyliss Ziegler Speech and Language Kids 'Tell It Like It Is' - a project that describes how they created an email friendship between two 10-year-old children who stutter.
  • The Stuttering Home Page provides opportunities for children and teens to become "key pals" with others who stutter. Names of children under age 13 are added to the keypals page with parental permission. kids and teens
  • There are at least two online discussion forums designed specifically for teens who stutter.
    Supplemental materials


    Posters are not only a good avenue for decorating speech therapy rooms and offices, they are also helpful for children who are teaching others about stuttering or to provide themselves appropriate messages about stuttering by using them to decorate their room at home. Several posters are designed especially for children or would be interesting to teens.

    Books for Children

    The following books are recommended both for children who stutter as well as to add to school libraries.

    Books for Children and Teens Books for Teens Newsletters

    Two organizations currently produce newsletters specifically for children who stutter.


    The SFA has a rich store of videos available at a very reasonable price. Some of the videos are designed for parent or teacher education. Others are designed to assist the school-based clinician in providing services. One is directed at teens who stutter. Below is current list of videos which are described and can be ordered.

    Materials for Teachers

    There is a wealth of materials to help teachers understand stuttering and the special needs of students in their classroom who stutter. The materials listed are of varying lengths, and can be matched to the interest and information needs of the teacher.

    Materials for Parents

    All of the suggestions below contain excellent information for parents of children who stutter. The clinician is encouraged to study what is available and match it to the needs of the family.

    Information available on the Internet

  • Stephen Hood, Helping Children Talk Fluently: Suggestions For Parents
  • Julie Mazzuca-Peter, The Child Who Stutters: a Parents' Guide
  • Peter Ramig, To The Parents Of The Nonfluent Child
  • Woody Starkweather, et. al. Stuttering Prevention: A Manual for Parents
  • J. Scott Yaruss and David W. Hammer, Information for Parents of Disfluent Children
  • Word by Word: Understanding Stuttering by MSNBC
  • Stuttering by NIDCD
  • What is Stuttering by ASHA Books and newsletters Commercial Materials

    Materials are also available from various commercial companies. To find them, the interested clinician is encouraged to search the catalogues or websites of various commercial companies by using the keyword "stuttering."


    The entire smorgasbord of materials mentioned throughout this article can be added to the speech clinician's fluency files for under $200 (excluding tax and mailing costs). However, it is unlikely any book, brochure, poster, article, website, video or therapy idea/program alone will make a difference for children who stutter without the creative clinician who adapts the material appropriately. A few examples of ways clinicians have used several of the resources suggested throughout this article will not only provide a conclusion to the article, but hopefully inspire an introduction as well, as other clinicians explore and adapt the materials to the students in their caseloads. Clinicians have helped young clients use materials from the SFA, FRIENDS, NSA, and the SHP as well as other resources to prepare interesting presentations to help children who stutter and their peers learn about stuttering. Three examples are on the Internet and are shared to feature courageous children and inspire clinicians to provide such opportunities for children in their caseload.

    A clinician recently shared her excitement about a 14 year old in her caseload. One of her goals had been to get him to put his feelings into words. She had been encouraging him to journal, but his response was less than enthusiastic. After discovering on the Internet, some poetry written by a person who stutters, she asked if he might be interested in writing poetry and she reported his response was the strangest look as he nodded yes. The next session he brought her 4 notebooks filled with his poetry. The end of the story (or really the beginning) is that she got him enrolled in a special creative writing class (he had not previously shared his gift or interest). This young man has found a niche and respect - a place where he can communicate very effectively, and where what he has to say is listened to and respected.

    Another clinician tells the story of a 6 year old who was being teased about her stuttering. She had talked to her parents and teachers, but the teasing had continued and she was very sad. With her clinician she explored several ways other children had responded to teasing. The student declared, "I wouldn't do that" or "I like that one" as they went through a long list. After reading some of the articles about teasing and bullying, the clinician helped the student role play the responses she had chosen. Several days later, this child came into the therapy room, very excited, explaining, "When they teased me, I told them 'You're not very good at doing that' and guess what!! They stopped teasing me and asked me to play with them!"

    Many more "success stories" are waiting to be written!

    You can post Questions/comments about the above paper to Judy Kuster before October 22, 2002.

    September 1, 2002