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  • Lori Melnitsky

Helping school aged children who Stutter:

I have stuttered for over 50 years, much less now than I did when I was younger. I became a Speech Pathologist to help others and decrease the struggle I felt stuttering. I hope some of these tips help parents and educators.

Tips when talking to your child:

1. Stuttering is complex and different for everyone.

2. Try not to talk about stuttering with other family members without the person who stutters permission.. Children become embarrassed about talking and develop shame. You can talk about it but only if it serves a purpose.

3. Families might hear stuttering more at home. Just like all of us we are more comfortable when we do not feel judged and often are less restricted in what is said at home vs school. Parents-listen to the message. .

4. Praise the message not how they are talking.

5. It is hard to change how anyone speaks. It is harder for middle school/high school children because they do not want to sound different.

6. Practice in fun ways (ex: trivia, memory games, 20 questions)

7. It takes time to use strategies in conversational speech. Start small. Two minutes a day. Ask your child what they learned in speech. If they cannot tell you contact your speech pathologist. It is important you understand.

8. Sometimes it is better to talk to your speech pathologist alone and not with your child present to prevent over awareness.

9. Realize that "tools" and "strategies" work in some situations and everyone uses them differently. For many they can drastically reduce stuttering but for others emotions must be dealt with first.

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