Fluency Strategies for Different Children

Hello all,

I am currently a second year graduate student completing my externship at a school setting. There are currently 8 children who stutter on the caseload. I feel like I work on a lot of the same strategies with all children; however, as we know, not one client is the same. I was wondering what some strategies are that I can use with children that have a more severe stutter. I find it difficult working in a group of 3-4 children for 20 minutes and not being able to spend my time with one individual client. 

Thank you for your time 

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Fluency Strategies for Different Children — 3 Comments

  1. Dear Bree,

    Hi! Thank you so much for writing and asking important questions like these. And congrats on being almost through with graduate school? Where do you attend school?! Exciting times!

    You are hitting on a question that requires systematic changes in schools. I was an SLP in schools for 7 years and I empathize with working in groups of 3-4 for 20 minutes and feeling like “what am I doing to help?” Well, you are helping because you are creating a safe place for that group of 3-4 to interact with each other.

    Here are some thoughts to bring in the ABCs of stuttering:

    1. Every other week do something that involves discussing who they feel about their speech.
    2. Discuss and try some different speaking situations around the school (e.g., ask principles, administrative assistants, other teachers, parents, anyone if your students can ask them questions, surveys, or just say hi to build confidence).
    3. Have students make phone calls and support each other. Nothing long, but having them debrief phone calls with respect to Affective, Behaviors, and Cognitive (ABC) aspects of speech will get them discussing more than just behaviors.
    4. Ask the students to create an educational medium (powerpoint brochure, a short talk) to give to each other, parents, classes about stuttering. This PROCESS of creating this could be addressing so many skills and goals that involve all 3 of the ABCs.
    5. Have each child create (with your help and family) short 2 minute speech about anything they wish. And talk with them (educate) about the MANY aspects of speaking (volume, variation in pitch, hand gestures, eye contact, rate of speech, pausing, body movement) that all help to effectively communicate a message. Fluency is ONE aspect of speaking. There are many to work on for ANYONE!

    The above are a few actives that are building : confidence, effective communication skills, learning new skills, functional communication, and getting other people involved, and so many other things.

    Does that help?

    Keep being you!
    With compassion and kindness,

  2. Hi!
    I hope you’re having a wonderful time getting to know these kids!
    I just commented on another thread about the importance of really knowing and appreciating each child for who he/ she is- and not in terms of their speech symptomatology, but in terms of who they really are. How old are these children? Are they all aware of their stuttering?

    Individual and group therapy should ideally go hand in hand, so see if you can work out a schedule where they get both. In the group, on the other hand, there’s so much more that you can do…
    Go beyond strategies or techniques.. get these children to interact, share, discuss their speech, and discuss which of two or three options works best for them. The extent to which you can do this and the activities would all depend on their age and levels of awareness, which is why I had asked those questions. But use the group for building their confidence, use it as a safe space to practice what they would like to do in challenging speaking situations, or in the face of negative listener reactions.
    Does that help?

  3. HI Bree – You’ve already received great answers to this question…I’d like to add one other thought…rather than thinking about strategies for enhancing fluency, consider that the key goal of therapy is to reduce adverse impact associated with stuttering. If you focus on adverse impact rather than fluency, you will find that you can help them make meaningful changes in their lives beyond just their observable stuttering.
    Good luck!