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FLUENCY TIPS for TEACHERS
(Making school a positive place)
- Do not refer to the speech difficulty(s) as stuttering, unless directed by parent or SLP.
- Expect the same behavior/work as other students.
- Try for relaxed atmosphere and use relaxed speech yourself.
- Encourage good talking manners from everyone and good listening.
- Give time to speak. Decrease interruptions; Increase turn taking.
- Give and expect appropriate eye contact.
- Call on randomly but fairly early or ask to volunteer when ready.
- Recite rhymes, songs, etc. in pairs or group unison.
- Show and tell: allow child to volunteer if he/she wants to do. Parent may “practice” (rehearse) at home beforehand, using good modeling techniques.
- Handle teasing from others just as with any other teasing topics.
- Increase confidence. Be specific in praise (address the content and product, not the speech: what is said, not how it is said).
- Do not fill in words or finish sentences for the student. Wait until done and you may acknowledge the message by restating in a nice, easy speech pattern. Try not to just parrot back (kids don’t like that).
- Do Not give advice of: “slow down”, “think before you speak”,“take a breath”, “relax”, “stop and start over”, “hurry”. Instead model nice, easy speech yourself.
- If you do not understand the student, do not be afraid to say “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand what you just said”.
- Initially ask questions that can be answered with relatively few words.
- Present this idea to the whole class: that rather than just answering quickly, they take time and think through their answers. Reduce time pressure.
- State that you have time to listen and also state when you are unable to give your full attention. If you promise to listen later, be sure you do.
- If child is having a particularly disfluent time (or day), try to arrange more “hands on” activities to reduce speech demands. Be subtle and include other kids too!