The following was part of an ASHA presentation by Crystal Cooper, Kristin Chmela, Ellen Bennett, and Victoria Williams, Creative School Programs for Children Who Stutter: Successful Strategies, presented at the ASHA Convention, November 21, 1998, San Antonio, Texas. The information below was Victoria Williams M.S.CCC/SLP's contribution to the session, and was designed to be used as an inservice in a public school setting to educate staff members about stuttering. The outline and some of the overheads and handouts from William's presentation are provided below with her permission. Speech-Language Pathologists working in a school setting are invited to adapt the workshop outline to their needs.



I. History of Stuttering II. Definition of Terms III. Development of Fluency

IV. Normal Nonfluency vs. Stuttering

V. Indications from the Research Literature

VI. Teacher Influences (Many of these suggestions are from: The Stutterer in the Classroom: A Guide For The Teacher; Stuttering Resource Foundation, 1988)

(The following suggestions were provided by a high school client of the presenter, who wanted his teachers to know the following information. They were presented by the client on a video. Such an exercise may be adapted for your presentation as well. JAK)

Suggestions for Teachers: A Student's Perspective
  1. Awareness of types of stuttering is important
      a. Block at diaphragm: no sound is heard.
      b. Block at the throat: sound is heard, but vowels are not enunciated.
      c. Block at the lips: all consonant sounds get trapped and can't be shaped correctly.
  2. Rate of speech should be slower. The pace of the classroom is determined by the teacher. When the teacher has a slower pace by students tend to speak using a slower pace. This will allow the class to speak more fluently!
  3. Organization of the classroom schedule is important. If the teacher is disorganized, the youngster who stutters perceives it and this can weaken the student's trust in the teacher; decreasing a smooth running class as well as decreasing fluency.
  4. Attendance is important for the maintenance of the classroom rhythm. A substitute can break the flow. It is essential for the substitute to be aware of students who stutter in your class.
  5. Take time to know the student. Create a bond. Find common interests that could be used in teaching as well as in conversation. This helps to encourage fluency.
  6. Stuttering is a speaking problem. . . not a problem with intelligence.


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added December 2, 1998