10 Tips for Teachers to Support Children Who Stutter

10 Tips for Teachers to Support Children Who Stutter

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech.


1. Developmental stuttering

Occurs in young children while they are still learning speech and language skills, when children’s speech and language abilities are unable to meet the child’s verbal demands

2. Neurogenic stuttering

Occurs after a stroke, head trauma, or other type of brain injury. With neurogenic stuttering, the brain has difficulty coordinating the different components involved in speaking because of signalling problems between the brain and nerves or muscles.

10 Tips for Teachers to Support Children Who Stutter

  1. Don’t tell the student to “slow down” or “just relax.”
  2. Don’t complete words for the student or talk for him or her.
  3. Help all members of the class learn to take turns talking and listening.
  4. All students — and especially those who stutter — find it much easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listener’s attention.
  5. Expect the same quality and quantity of work from the student who stutters as the one who doesn’t.
  6. Speak with the student in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.
  7. Convey that you are listening to the content of the message, not how it is said.
  8. Have a one-on-one conversation with the student who stutters about needed accommodations in the classroom.
  9. Respect the student’s needs, but do not be enabling.
  10. Don’t make stuttering something to be ashamed of. Talk about stuttering just like any other matter.

 – Compiled by Lisa A. Scott, Ph.D., The Florida State University