To: All who work with school aged children



My name is Allison Cullinan and I am currently a graduate student studying speech-language pathology at Touro College in Brooklyn. As an undergraduate I obtained my degree in general and special education (birth-sixth grade) and have a desire to work with school aged children in my future.


My question pertains to the mental health support for those children who stutter. My brother was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome as a child and I saw what an impact his disorder had on his self image and anxiety. Similar to Tourette’s, stuttering can play a huge role on children’s (and adults) emotions. I was just wondering if you believe that it is important for these children to seek therapy from a psychologist to help them when times are tough? Do you think SLPs should refer these children and/or recommend it to their parents?


Thank you for your time 🙂 ,

Allison Cullinan

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To: All who work with school aged children — 2 Comments

  1. Allison,
    You ask a very good question. As an SLP who works exclusively with people who stutter, and as a PWS myself, I agree that counseling is a huge part of what we do. For this reason, I feel that anyone working with children who stutter (and there parents) must feel comfortable with counseling. I was blessed to take a counseling course with David Luterman as a graduate student which helped me to understand how important it is to truly listen to our clients. My experience suggests that an SLP who has taken the time to understand the issues related to counseling (read as taking many CE course in counseling) can handle most of what will come there way. That being said, we need to know our own limits.
    I would suggest you take any course you can that deals with counseling. It will serve you will all of your clients (as well as in your personal life). Keep asking questions.
    Kevin Eldridge

  2. Allison:
    I concur with Kevin that as an SLP working with children who stutter we must be comfortable with the counseling aspects of therapy. Addressing the cognitive and affective components that often accompany a stuttering problem are as important to consider in therapy as is working on the stuttering behaviors themselves. It is most effective when the child’s family members are included, along with the classroom teacher(s). Fortunately, there are numerous commercial resources that address these components (e.g., there was recently a new resource published that focuses on bullying and stuttering). The Stuttering Homepage,, also has resources available for use. There are some excellent articles found in the archives of former ISAD conferences on the Stuttering Homepage that address cognitive and affective variables with stuttering in children. Also check out the wonderful resources found on the National Stuttering Association’s web site or the Stuttering Foundation web site specifically for children and parents of children who stutter. I hope this helps.