As a child enters school, speaking demands begin to increase, both in the classroom and within their community. Children may suddenly be expected to talk in front of their whole class. They may need to independently order food at a restaurant. Their parents may encourage them to speak more with friends and family. School-age children may become more aware of the impact of stuttering, either on their own or due to comments made by their peers. They may think that stuttering is “bad” or that it’s their fault and experience feelings of isolation, shame, embarrassment, or frustration.
Speech therapy for school-age children begins with a comprehensive evaluation to assess not only what the stuttering looks and sounds like, but what they think and feel about stuttering and how that is impacting the choices they are making each day.
While therapy is focused on the child, the involvement of parents/caretakers, including education and counseling, is integral to SAY’s therapy process. The child, their speech therapist, their parents/caretakers, and sometimes other key people in their lives (e.g., teachers), all come together to identify the priorities and goals of therapy. These priorities may address the observable features of stuttering such as helping the child to stutter with less physical tension, while therapeutic goals focus on reducing the impact that stuttering has on the child’s life. This may include participating more in class, making new friends, or responding to questions about stuttering or teasing.
Although the chance of outgrowing stuttering begins to decrease as a child gets older, speech therapy and community support can help young people navigate stuttering and become confident, effective communicators, whether or not they continue to stutter!
If your child is between the ages of 7 and 12 and you have concerns about how stuttering is impacting them, please CLICK BELOW to schedule a consultation or contact Brooke Leiman Edwards, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-F at 646.403.3519 or Brooke@SAY.org.