There is no single cause, although there may be a genetic link. There is no single or definite cure and there is no single best strategy for supporting pupils. Current research indicates that the cause of stammering has a physiological basis in the brain structure.
About one in twenty children stammer at the pre-school stage and intervention at this stage is most effective. One researcher has suggested that it is as many as one in twelve.
About one in eighty school children stammer. Boys are much more likely to be affected than girls.
It is a very unpredictable and variable condition and children will react differently to their speech problem and need different forms of support.
It varies in severity and a child may have fluent periods and then revert to stammering for no apparent reason.
Liaise with the parents and the speech and language therapist and talk with the child about what helps him.
As it can cause the child to have an undue sense of urgency about talking, managing the classroom situation to allow the child time to complete his answer and communicating this to the child will be very helpful.
It is good practice to have support within a 'whole-class, whole-school policy' on communication and to follow school policy on teasing and bullying. There is evidence to suggest that children who stammer are more likely to be bullied and become more anxious as a consequence.
Statistically speaking, an average primary school will have children who stammer - if you do not know them, they have managed to hide their stammer.
Track achievement against potential using whatever cognitive testing is favoured in you school and address any underachievement.
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The British Stammering Association is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No. 4297778
Registered Office: 15 Old Ford Road, London E2 9PJ. | Registered Charity Numbers 1089967/SC038866 | First registered 1978