Young Stuttering Therapy

Check this post out for some simple ideas to implement in therapy with young stuttering clients. Post includes The Speech Guy and Speech Roads

Stuttering therapy with kids is so tricky! There is this balance between teaching awareness of the stutter and lowering emotional reactivity to the stutter that I am still working on mastering. It is different for each child and you really have to get a feel for how they will react. I only had 3 stuttering kids on my caseload this past year and they were as different as different can be. I tried doing the therapy in a group and it worked out okay but man it was tricky since they had such individual strengths and weaknesses, planning their sessions was a bear! Here are a few little lessons that really worked for all 3 of them (they were all 6-7 years old).

The Speech Guy

Two of my three stuttering kids had started to develop fairly severe secondary behaviors during stuttering moments. These are behaviors that happen as the child tries to get past the stuttering moment and can include funny facial and/or body movements to try to help them out of the stutter. Examples include eye twitches, loss of eye contact, slapping the leg, rocking the head forward, clicking the mouth, arrested breath, avoding words that are hard to say and a lot more. It honestly freaked me out when I evaluated them because I had no idea how to work with stuttering, especially stuttering that was severe enough to present with secondary behaviors. My supervisor at the district suggested I talk about the different parts that we use for speech and how they affect our talking. We found this Speech Guy on therapsimplicity.com. It was an awesome starting point for these kids and a fun activity to send home. We talked about each of the parts and how we use them for speech (mouth, nose, eyes, ears, voicebox, lungs) and the funny things that happen sometimes when we get "stuck" (raising eye brows, wiggling nose, tensing mouth, arrested breath, etc). The kids got to color their speech guy and the parts and take them home and tell their parents about them.

Speech Roads
My stuttering kids are fairly young and I was trying to come up with a good way for them to listen and evaluate stuttering behaviors. I drew these little "speech roads" during our lesson when I was trying to describe different types of "bumpy" speech to them. They really latched on to the road and we ended up using them a lot in our sessions. I cut them apart and had the kids hold up the speech road (smooth, bumpy or road block) that matched how the person was talking. Once they could identify what speech road I was using I had them listen to themselves and evaluate their own speech. I made copies that they could take home and practice evaluating theirs and other's speech.


Denise said...
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Denise said...

The road visual is great! You're an awesome artist, especially on the fly! Any chance you can upload these for printing?

Maria M Chavarria said...

I have a stuttering patient but he's 12. I wonder how well this would work with him.

Anonymous said...

I bet this idea would be great with an older student if you could find more teen friendly pictures that would convey the same ideas- I know I have seen great pictures in Bike Magazines and sport magazines of motor cross or sports cars that sometimes have pictures of tracks, bumps, big holes that could could be substituted and build on this great "visual idea". With olympics occurng now there are probably some pics that could be used as well. Sandi in NC

speech therapy Orange County said...

Dealing with kids struggling with their speech is not easy. It certainly requires patience, determination and a whole lot more of patience. These strategies you have shared are very useful. These are also very creative and will certainly create a more fun learning environment. Thank you for sharing.

Poland said...

I have found that the lidcombe program works great when parents are willing to be involoved! I have the book on it if you ever want to borrow it. katie poland