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Introduction

When a performance is planned all pupils should be encouraged to take part at some stage in the school year. Many children, particularly the child who stammers, may be fearful of speaking solo but wish to join in the activity.

Strategies to allow children to overcome their fear of talking in front of a large audience should be used. These include reading aloud with a group or with another pupil. 

Solo speaking 

The teacher should judge all the children, including the child who stammers, who want to speak/ play a role, on their merits as performers in that role. There are a number of famous performers who do stammer who started off in school productions (See also Success stories).

Some children who stammer may not do so when performing, but, even if they do, that should not automatically exclude them as they may possess other skills that allow them to play that role effectively. Children do not usually stammer when singing and may enjoy the experience of being fluent.

When a pupil who stammers is able to perform in another medium, as does Paul in the video, then that should be encouraged. Such an opportunity will boost the self-esteem of children who stammer and encourage their sense of self worth in relation to the others.

Summary

  • Encourage participation.  
  • Allow the child who stammers to speak with another child, or in a group, if he is worried about talking solo. 
  • Be flexible about contributions to performances and consider all alternative methods of communication, dance, mime, music for example.

Paul, who stammers, demonstrates his skill on the Recorder.