How to get support for learning for your primary school child who stammers

Remember to keep a file with all the details of your child's medical history, education reports and other important documents. You may need this information at some time and it should be kept in a safe place.

When your child is receiving therapy and was placed on 'Early Years Action' or 'Early Years Action Plus' then the pre-school will have passed on the details when your child transferred. This should be the starting point for your discussion about support for your child’s stammer with the class teacher.

What to do if you think that your child has a stammer

Take action yourself: two important steps to take.

1.Contact your local speech and language therapy service


The BSA would advise a parent to seek advice from a therapist when they are concerned about a stammer, particularly if the child seems to be anxious. Do not delay seeking the advice of a therapist whenever you notice he is stammering. Early Intervention gives the best chance of recovery from stammering, sometimes as late as 7 years. Older children can be helped by therapy to manage their speech and maintain their confidence so that their progress in school is not held back. As parents may make this referral directly to most services, it is not always worth waiting for the school to decide to refer after going through the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. Remember that this service is free to you as the National Health Service funds it. The BSA can provide you with the contact details of your local service.

2. Working in partnership with school staff

Even when you have contacted a therapist yourself, it is advisable to keep the school informed. When you do, you are likely to find that the staff will be guided in their response by the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (SEN Code).

The Code is there to ensure that any child, who has a need for additional support, can be provided with this in a pre-school or school setting. It is therefore helpful for parents to talk about this with the school. The BSA would always advise parents to discuss the SEN Code with staff, as it is the means by which resources may be provided for a child. The SEN Code should ensure that the child's needs are monitored and planned for, and that parents and any other professionals involved, such as a speech and language therapist, are kept regularly informed about the child's progress.

Talk frequently to your child's class teacher and pass on any concerns you have, and respond to any concerns expressed by her. If your child is receiving therapy ask the therapist if she could go into the school to give the staff information and, if appropriate, involve them in any programme of therapy being used.

Ask the class teacher to access BSA:Education for online training.

What can the school do to help your child?

Staff can work with you to discuss and support your child's needs through the processes available under the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice. There is provision for extra support in school for example through School Action.

When your child has complex needs

Most children who stammer do not have other complex needs but if your child appears to have significant difficulties you should raise your concerns with the class teacher, and ask for an assessment.

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