At the National Stuttering Association, we recognize the central role that teachers and other educators can play in shaping the lives of young children. Often, we receive calls from teachers who are not sure how to help children who stutter. All children benefit when their teachers understand and support them. For children who stutter, this is particularly important because of the unique difficulties they may have in interacting with their peers.
For this reason, the NSA has created materials designed to help teachers feel more comfortable with their ability to support children who stutter. In this section of our website, you can learn more about what stuttering is (and what stuttering is not), what the goals of therapy are for school-age children who stutter and how teachers can help children communicate more effectively in the classroom.
One of the best things you can do for your student who stutters is to help them connect to NSA resources designed especially for them. Encourage your students and their parents to check out the Family Programs pages to connect to other kids their age through information, newsletters, events, and social media.
Some Helpful Tips:
- Finishing sentences and filling in words is not generally helpful. Even though you may be trying to help, this can put even more pressure on the child/student who stutters.
- Be a good listener. Maintain normal eye contact and do not seem impatient, embarrassed, or alarmed. Wait patiently until the child is finished speaking.
- Don’t give advice such as; “Slow down,” “Take a breath,” or “Relax.” These are simplistic responses to a complex problem.
- Let the child know, by your manner and actions, that you are listening to what he is saying, not how he is saying it.
We also have items designed specifically with you in mind! Check out a few of these free resources: