Interview With Caroline

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Re: This is a great article!

From: Lynne Shields
Date: 10/18/02
Time: 11:50:02 AM
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Thanks you for posting. I'm so pleased that you find Caroline's story helpful. I agree with you that she is one hard-working little girl and I think she is becoming a good problem solver as a result.

You asked two questions:

what is easy talking and stretching talking?

Easy talking, as we defined it for Caroline, involves using gentle voice onset at the beginning of an utterance or word, along with use of very light contact of the lips or tongue and teeth (depending on what the first sound of the word is). So, basically, Caroline is being encouraged to begin speaking using very little tension or pressure, so that she can move more easily through the word(s).

Caroline uses the term 'stretchy talk' to refer to prolonging the beginning of a word, or the first word of a sentence, slightly. We don't have her prolong the entire word, since that tends to make her speech sound unnatural, and is too slow for her.

When she combines easy talking and stretchy talking, she begins a sentence with a gentle onset and slight prolongation, and is able to speak much more smoothly.

What are the other methods to combat teasing?

Having a child, or the child and his/her speech therapist, do a presentation to the rest of the class about stuttering is a good way to educate fellow students about stuttering. Someone who understands about stuttering is less likely to tease a child about it. It also gives the child lots of allies on the playground. Classmates are much more likely to tell a bully to stop it when they try to tease the child who stutters, if they are educated about stuttering and how it feels to be teased about it.

Having a school take on a no bullying policy can also be helpful. Kids who stutter aren't the only ones who get teased, of course. All kids will benefit if the school does not tolerate bullying, and especially if the school addresses it by teaching children about bullying and how to combat it.

Marilyn Langevin has a paper at last year's ISAD conference on this topic, which you might like to read. It can be accessed via the Stuttering Homepage. She also has published, I believe, a program to be used in schools to help combat teasing and bullying.

I hope this is helpful. Again, thank you for reading our paper.



Last changed: September 12, 2005