I work with a 9 who has challenges speaking in the classroom and to his peers. He is new to this school. He talks during our therapy sessions with no problem stuttering. He even introduced himself the first time he came in my room saying, I am ” ” and I stutter. Since then he shared “if I didn’t stutter I would talk a lot more and be much more friendly”. Today he said, “I am afraid if I stutter I will be lonely because others will not want to be my friend.” He followed up saying, “I am not lonely b/c I get to play tag and there is not a lot of talking in tag.”
I met with his teacher last week and told her what he shared with me. She does not have any experience with stuttering so I gave her some information to review. My student’s IEP is coming up in less than two weeks. To my disappointment, he only came in with one goal from his previous district- to speak more fluently (it is more specific down to percent of syllables but I can’t remember off hand/no surprise, he has not met it) I am going to create new/more goals (scrapping that one) and take the focus away from “fluency”. I want to focus on identification of core and secondary behaviors, education/desensitization, and some structured fluency shaping techniques but I am open to more ideas.
I plan to give a presentation to the class on stuttering. I offered my student two options- he can present with me or I can do it on my own. He said he wants me to do it on my own but as of today he did not object to having a role in the presentation. This will likely take place in November. I would value any feedback you may have regarding goals and the type of role he can have in the class presentation.
Lastly, to complicate matters more, his parents are divorced. Dad is remarried and parents are not on good terms. Mom has given him the idea that screen time makes him stutter more so he thinks he stutters more at his Dad’s house since his Dad is more lenient on screen time (at least this is what he implied). His older brother teases him and tells him he can’t play a video game because it will make him stutter. He tells his brother to “shut up” but he is the one who gets in trouble for saying “shut up”. This boy is a great kid but the family has so much to learn about stuttering.
I appreciate your feedback. As of last week, he reported having one friend at school, a girl who sits next to him . The teacher reported she encourages other boys to include him and they have said “he doesn’t like what we like” I don’t know if that is true or if that is their way of “nicely” not including him. He has not been teased. I was happy to hear he began participating in a regular game of tag with other boys although, he isn’t having to speak very much per his report.
Thanks for any insight, expertise you can share!
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