International Stammering Awareness Day-22nd October 2021

As part of International Stammering Awareness Day, our Specialist Speech and Language Therapist Lauren McCormick is sharing her own experience of stammering:

After developing my interest in stammering, and working with children and young people who stammer, for nearly 10 years, I now find myself to be the parent of a 3 and a half year old who stammers. It’s an interesting perspective.

It’s hard to see your child struggling with something and, of course, we want to help them. With children who stammer, as with all children, we want to help them believe in themselves and boost their confidence by focusing on their wonderful ideas and what they are saying, rather than how they are saying it 🙂

I really notice with my little boy, that he needs to take more time to think about what he wants to say. It helps him if I bob down face-to-face to let him know I am listening, there’s no rush.

Obviously, we have to live in the real world – and sometimes we really are in a rush!!! So it isn’t possible to do this all the time. It can be helpful to try to think about it for 5 minutes a day (or 3-5 times a week) when you are playing or talking together. In Speech and Language Therapy we usually call this Special Time (or 5 Minute Time, for older children).

Getting Face-to-face

Lots of children start to stammer when they are developing their language skills, about 5% of the population. 4 out of 5 children who start to stammer will stop stammering naturally, and 1 out of 5 will need some support, and may continue to stammer in their later childhood and adulthood. However, this doesn’t have to be a problem. You can be an excellent and confident communicator and have a stammer. Getting the right support at the right time is important.

If your child has started to stammer, or is finding it hard to talk, and you are worried about it, please call us for some advice or to make a referral. We would love to hear from you!

By Lauren McCormick, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Below are links to a new campaign and interesting videos featuring children, young people and adults who stammer:

Watch the film and sign the petition pushing for greater representation of stammering in the media

No diversity without dysfluency campaign:

Listen to Tash’s VLOG covering topics such as managing virtual meetings to dealing with peoples’ lack of understanding about stammering:

Tash’s vlog: Stammering Virtually | STAMMA

Listen to a range of bite sized videos for parents addressing a range of common worries including ‘is it my fault that my child has started to stammer?’

Videos | STAMMA

We need to consider the language we use when we talk about stammering:

Using neutral language with children who stammer – Bing video

Watch 15 year old Erin Stoner perform her poem about stammering for the ‘Speak Out Challenge’