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Pastoral support

It is important that a key adult such as the class teacher or assistant acts as a regular mentor to the child who stammers and talks with him frequently to check how he is getting on. This clip demonstrates that Matthew's teacher is relating to him well, and he is expressing concerns freely.  She is accepting Matthew as an individual and encouraging him to assert his views.  The speech and language therapist has developed her knowledge of the condition and she does not appear to hold any prejudices.  

However, research shows that most people, including teachers, associate stammering with negative personality traits: shy, nervous, insecure, being the words commonly selected.  Such negative stereotypical perceptions by adults colour their expectations of the child and may detrimentally influence the child's self image. Other research indicated that these negative views were less likely to be held when a teacher had more knowledge of stammering and this supports the need for information to be provided on stammering, thus enhancing the educative role of the therapist and the BSA.

Matthew is obviously able to talk with his teacher and appears to be quite happy at school apart from an underlying worry that he might be teased or bullied even though that does not seems to have happened yet. This concern is understandable because he knows that he sometimes speaks differently to the other pupils and he can't help but feel that at some time teasing comments may upset him. All that teachers can do is to be alert to this concern, talk regularly with the pupil and have a robust anti-bullying policy in place so that action is immediate and reassuring. See In the SENCO office: Bullying in this resource


  • A teacher or classroom assistant should act as a mentor for the child who stammers and talk regularly with him.
  • Negative views of the child who stammers are more likely to be held by adults who had little knowledge of the disorder.
  • School staff need information on stammering so that they do not react to the child in a stereotypical way.

Matthew's teacher talks to him regularly to see how he is getting on.