Identifying a child who stammers at primary school

Occasionally a stammer may not have been identified in the Early Years when intervention would have provided the best chance of recovery. Family or individual circumstances may have made it difficult to identify a stammer until the child was older and already attending primary school. When this happens parents should still contact a speech and language therapist who ideally specialises in stammering so that support can be put in place. The school may make this referral if preferred, as long as the school considers it to be necessary and the parent consents.

Many services are able to work with the teacher as well as the parent to support the child. The BSA knows from parents of children of primary school age that many of them worry if their child has not become fluent after therapy sessions. They may worry about the effects of continuing to stammer on their child's progress. However, it is reassuring to know that even if your child is still stammering as he progresses through primary school, support from a therapist, his teacher and you can help him to maintain his confidence and manage his speech.

Be positive

You should adopt a positive attitude to your child's speech difficulty and avoid letting anxiety, which you may be feeling, affect him. Try to talk with your child about his speech whenever he seems to want to do so, openness and a relaxed attitude by all the key adults in his life allows the growing child to see his stammer as something he occasionally does, and not what he is.

Stammering need not hold you back

Children who stammer need not be held back as long as they are supported in managing their speech at home and in school. If you are feeling anxious contact the BSA:Helpline to talk to someone who understands how you feel.

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