I never liked stuttering. There really wasn’t much to like. My throat tightened. I repeated words. I jerked my head to get words out and Yes, I was ashamed when I couldn’t say what I wanted. What was there to like?
I often give children/teens an attitudes checklist for them to fill out so I can assess how stuttering impacts their life. I already know most of the answers. They often report they don’t speak as well as others and don’t participate in class, as well as many other comments. I try and help them talk about their strengths as individuals. My goal as a speech pathologist is to help them improve their fluency, comfidence and in some cases with younger children to attempt to eliminate stuttering. Again what is there to really accept about stuttering?
Traditionally it was thought if we taught a child to produce sounds and words by using only auditory cues, they would eventually begin talking. When I became certified in PROMPT by the PROMPT Institute many years ago, I realize this wasn’t necessarily true. PROMPT adds a multidimensional approach using tactile kinesthetic cues (touch cues) to move the lips, tongue and jaw to sequence movements to produce sounds and words. PROMPT allows for multiple practice of targeted sounds and words. PROMPT works where traditional speech therapy might not.
If an 18 month old isn’t babbling or imitating animal sounds, then PROMPT should be used to stimulate language. If a two year old isn’t learning new words rapidly, then PROMPT is ideal to stimulate language. If a 4 year old is talking but omitting sounds, PROMPT can help shape the vowels and stabilize the jaw to improve intellig ibility. If a 7 year old still can’t produce sounds, such as r and L after two years of speech therapy in school, it is time to try PROMPT. If a child is diagnosed with apraxia, then PROMPT is the approach.
I am not sure Nikki and I have much in common, however, I notice she admires the people who have overcome obstacles. She admires their strength and determination. Last night on Idol I saw that in her eyes. It is difficult to face a world that is not accepting of you. It is even more difficult to reach inside your soul and do what you want despite negative criticism. People ask me how I overcame stuttering severely? I equate it to people asingk how my college roommate lost 180 pounds?
We did it with hard work and determination. We never gave up and realized a magic answer did not exist. Don’t get me wrong, I tried the so called “magic” . Surprise- it did not exist!
You have to work and work at something you want. At times it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but if you can your world will open up. Mine did after years of hard work, speech therapy and a family that believed in me.
I was reviewing If Your Child Stutters: A Guide For Parents published by Jane Fraser and the Stuttering Foundation of America www.stutteringhelp.org. Let’s review risk factors:
1. The child is stuttering for 3 months or longer. Continue Reading »
It is alarming to know that 1 in 5 children have learning disabilities. Out of those approximately 80% have dyslexia. Still many children are not being identified early enought to receive adequate help. Dyslexia is a language based learning disability that is treated best when diagnosed early. Speech pathologists can address many of these issues to help with phonemic awareness and decoding. Some children don’t know that words have separate syllables. Others try and guess words based on their shape rather than their sounds. Some can’t learn to tell time by the hands of the clock. Many exhibit poor spelling. Without a multisensory approach they struggle to learn leading to poor self esteem and frustration. Hope this article helps.
The above question is one in which many school districts would say no! To me this is disturbing on many levels. Talking is the pathway to effective communication and interactions. Stuttering can affect one’s the ability to raise their hand in class, attend remedial classes, ask for extra help, give oral presentations, ask to go the nurse, and interact with peers. Stuttering often involves changing word. How can it not be related and how can we not provide services to children whose only communication disorder is stuttering? Yes, this is what I hear from many personnel (luckily not all). I am often told the child is bright so education is not impacted. I can tell you as a young student who stuttered I changed words often. When it came time for the SATs my vocabulary was reduced. After years of being afraid to use these words and ask for help, my language skills suffered. It was only years later when I made an effort to read more and attack feared words that my communication became more effective. What do you think? Can stuttering affect educational performance? Would love to hear your thoughts. thanks for reading. Lori
These are five basic tips I unfortunately didn’t always follow in high school, but wisdom with getting older improves clarity.
1. Talk even if you stutter. Let the cat out of the bag and tell your teachers you stutter. You can also write a note explaining stuttering to them if it is easier.
2. Participate in oral presentations in front of the class. At some point in your life you will have to talk in front of people and it is best to desensitize yourself early on. This is something I forced myself to do. Not always easy, I know. Practice with your speech pathologist first.
3. Make a list of your strengths. Everyone has weaknesses but in life we have to foster our strengths and build character.
4. Share your concerns with your parents.
5. Keep going to speech therapy. It is vital to feel good about communicating.