14 Hacks to Help Learners Who Stutter

Are you looking for strategies to help students who stutter? If so, keep reading.

1. After the student can speak fluently in more situations (e.g., delivering messages to the office, speaking with the counselor, etc.), slowly increase those experiences as long as the student continues to be successful.

2. Ascertain whether the student avoids specific situations because of their perception of increased dysfluency. Talk with the student about the aspects of those situations that cause increased anxiety. Examine possible alterations that could be employed in the classroom to enable frustration tolerance (e.g., if speaking in front of the whole class causes stress, lessen the number of listeners, and slowly increase the size of the group as the student’s frustration tolerance increases).

3. Get the student to keep a list of times and/or situations in which speech is complicated (e.g., times when they are nervous, embarrassed, etc.). Talk about the reasons for this and consider possible solutions to the difficulty experienced.

4. Talk about and role-play with the entire class various kinds of disabilities and the related frustrations they might feel if they were experiencing similar difficulties. Include speech problems in this discussion.

5. Do not interrupt or finish the student’s sentences even if you think you can anticipate what the student is going to say. This can be very annoying and may decrease the student’s willingness to take part in future communicative interactions.

6. Throughout conversations, calmly delay your oral responses by one or two seconds.

7. If the student is speaking too rapidly, remind them to slow down. Create a private signal (e.g., raising one finger, touching earlobe, etc.) to avoid calling too much attention to the student’s speech in front of the whole class.

8. Throughout the oral reading, underline or highlight words that are complicated for the student to say and give reinforcement when they say them fluently.

9. Empathize with feelings of anger that the student may be experiencing due to speaking dysfluently.

10. Urge the student to keep eye contact during all speaking situations. If the student is noticeably more fluent when eye contact is averted, attempt to enable eye contact on a gradual basis.

11. On occasions where the student is speaking fluently, try to extend the positive experience by allowing them to continue speaking.

12. Assess the appropriateness of making the student speak without dysfluency (e.g., developmentally, young children experience normal dysfluency in their speech, and all persons are occasionally dysfluent).

13. Consider using a language arts app. Click here to view a list of recommended apps.

14. Consider using a language development app. Click here to view a list of apps that we recommend.

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