School Bulletins

is a regular feature in the ASHA publication Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools They may be photocopied without permission and reproduced as public relations tools for handouts, as newletter items, etc. to inform parents, teachers, and administrators about the role of the speech- language pathologist and the services they provide. The following bulletin appeared in the April, 1992 issue of LSHSS, 23(2), p. 100 ****************************************************************** Dear Parents: Speech fluency frequently develops with age. Many children between the ages of 2 and 7 break up the normal flow of speech. These disfluencies usually take the form of interjections, revisions of a message, or easy whole-word or phrase repetitions. Concerns over the development of stuttering problems may occur when these disfluencies are very frequent, are accompanied by tension, continue for a long time, and/or change in form to include frequent repetitions of parts of words, prolonging sounds or opening the mouth to speak without would coming out. For many children, disfluencies are a normal part of their speech development and are not a cause for concern. For others, this is the beginning of a stuttering pattern they will not outgrow. Approximately four out of five children who "stutter" during childhood achieve normal fluency later in life. Early identification and intervention are critical factors in helping the child to develop fluency. How can one tell the difference? As your school's speech-language pathologist. I will listen to the child's speech in a variety of communication situations. I will listen for the types and patterns of the disfluencies. In addition, I will ask you questions such as: Is there a family history of stuttering? Do disfluencies change according to the situation? Does your child avoid using certain words or speech situations because of the disfluency? Are disfluencies becoming more frequent or severe? How concerned are and your child about the disfluencies? After the evaluation, I will provide suggestions on how you should handle the disfluencies and provide services, if needed. It is best to consult a speech-language pathologist to learn how to handle your child's disfluencies. I would be happy to discuss any concerns you have now. Sincerely, Speech-Language Pathologist
added December 4, 1995 (JAK)