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Promoting Positive Interactions Between Students Who Stutter and Peers

Marilee Fini, M.A., CCC-SLP

July 23, 2012

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Question

Any suggestions on how to promote positive interactions with peer groups in the classroom?  I am an SLP and also a resource specialist.  One of my fifth graders stutters and I detect snickering and awkward looks between his peers when he presents in class.

Answer

Absolutely, I would do a stuttering in-service in the classroom and give the child who stutters the choice about being present in the classroom during the in-service.  In my own experience of being teased in the classroom as an adult speaker, I have learned that knowledge is power.  When we talk about stuttering, explaining what it is and addressing the emotions around stuttering is very helpful for the child and his/her peers.  There is a great video available online through the Stuttering Foundation of America, “Stuttering: For Kids, By Kids.” I have also used a stuttering quiz to test the students’ knowledge of stuttering.  You can make it fun and add a little humor to it by using a question like “Stuttering is caused by eating too many brownies.” By making it fun you are sending the message that stuttering is not this horrible, terrible thing. 

Marilee Fini, M.A., CCC-SLP is a practicing speech-language pathologist in Cleveland, OH running her own private practice, MLF Speech Therapy. Marilee regularly speaks on the subject of stuttering throughout the U.S. shedding a unique light on the subject of stuttering since she has spent most of her life dealing with her own stuttering.

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