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SLT perspective

It is always helpful for the child who stammers, and their parents, to be supported by the speech and language therapist, as well as the teacher, when secondary transfer is being discussed. 

In the video clip, the therapist describes her practice with the child who stammers, and her efforts to include the child's views in the discussion she has with a key teacher at the new secondary school, before the child starts there.  In this service, the needs of children who stammer are prioritised.

It is interesting that this therapist emphasises the need for a holistic approach to the child's needs, and the need for her to really find out what worries he might have before she meets the secondary teacher.  When that meeting takes place, both colleagues are able to work together to combine their respective knowledge, and the child profits from their discussion, and reassured by the support he is receiving.

When the speech and language therapy service is able to give this support to children who stammer, the parent also feels as does the mother in the clip, that her child is more likely to be able to cope at the new secondary school.  It is useful for the parents and teachers to know that in some areas this level of support is available for that.

Summary

  • There are issues of differential local priorities for speech and language therapy services.  Provision for children who stammer is consequently very variable.
  • Best practice is to have ongoing support from the service, particularly at the important stage of secondary transfer.

Cherry Hughes, Education Officer for the BSA, in conversation with Dr. Trudy Stewart, Leeds Speech and Language Therapy Service.