Stuttering and Bilingualism in Children and Adults

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Re: Bilingualism

From: Brian Humphrey
Date: 21 Oct 2008
Time: 18:32:25 -0500
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Gloria, you wrote: This article answered questions I had about bilingual clients but I still have a question. If a child is newly entered into the school system, presents with stuttering and English is their second language of which the child primarily uses the native language and has minimal knowledge and usage of the English language, how would you begin intervention in this type of situation? (Assuming there is not a bilingual therapist available who speaks the child’s native language.) - - - - - Gloria, way back in the twentieth century, when I worked in the St. Paul Schools, I was on an assessment team trained to do bilingual evaluations. The team members worked with trained Hmong interpreters, because of the number of Hmong children in the district (Hmong people arrived in St. Paul as refugees of the Vietnam war). I evaluated a few Hmong children who stuttered. When stuttering was present in both Hmong and English, we chose to treat for fluency. I provided treatment in English, and the interpreter helped me to monitor progress in both languages. I had no choice - I do not speak Hmong. For one child who only stuttered in English, we chose to monitor progress, and the dysfluency eased as the child learned more English. I hope this answer is helpful. - BH

Last changed: 10/21/08