For more than seven decades, the Stuttering Foundation has worked hand-in-hand with teachers to help them understand the needs of the child who stutters, both in the classroom and on the playground. By providing information, such as handbooks, FAQs, tips, videos and classroom presentations, the Foundation offers free, easy-to use resources for every teacher and school.
“Teachers are an important source of guidance and inspiration for children who stutter,” said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation. “To the child who stutters, an understanding teacher is a lifetime gift, and we make it our mission to help support them at every turn. On our website, there is an entire section with resources designed specifically for teachers. We appreciate what teachers do each day to help the stuttering community.”
The Foundation published an e-book, available for free download on its website entitled, “The Teacher Who Made a Difference.”
The Stuttering Foundation lists eight tips for teachers with students who stutters:
1. Don’t tell the student “slow down” or “just relax.”
2. Don’t complete words for the student or talk for him or her.
3. Help all members of the class learn to take turns talking and listening. All students — and especially those who stutter — find it much easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listener’s attention.
4. Expect the same quality and quantity of work from the student who stutters as the one who doesn’t.
5. Speak with the student in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.
6. Convey that you are listening to the content of the message, not how it is said.
7. Have a one-on-one conversation with the student who stutters about needed accommodations in the classroom. Respect the student’s needs, but do not be enabling.
8. Don’t make stuttering something to be ashamed of. Talk about stuttering just like any other matter.