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Think your homeschool child might be stuttering?? Some helps....
Susan Richman, 1/17/2011

I just today read an Internet posting about the new film 'The King's Speech', which focuses on the ability of King George VI of England to rally his people during World War II with his short speech upon being named king, even though he had had a serious stuttering problem. The film, which just won a Golden Globe Award for Colin Firth's acting in the lead role, shows the king's long sessions with a speech therapist-- and maybe most importantly, apparently the major organizations dedicated to helping people who stutter really like the film.

So I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some links to stuttering helps online, as homeschooling parents certainly deal with this issue at times. I've seen families who were reluctant to seek help, or who just didn't quite know how to respond helpfully to their children who stammered or had particularly halting speech.

Here a link to the Stuttering Foundation:  http://www.stutteringhelp.org

You'll see their appraisal of the film, and on the sidebar there are many helpful links for parents wanting to help their children, as well as pages with 'myths and facts' about stuttering. One major research finding they report is that stress and family 'problems' do not cause stuttering (apparently looks like there is a fairly strong genetic component to stuttering), but that the way a family reacts to stuttering from a child can certainly exacerbate the problem.

There are especially nice links here to a page just for kids and another for teens-- including letters from kids who have suffered from severe teasing over stuttering and more. There are pages to help parents recognize if their very young child's stuttering is just a normal stage of speech development, or something to pay attention to, with thoughts on when to seek some competent outside help.

I'd love to hear comments from any homeschooling families or evaluators who've had experience in helping a child with a stuttering challenge-- or parents who might be wondering what to do and how to help. This film itself, along with the helpful website from the Stuttering Foundation, could serve as an opening for families and children to talk about this issue in a new way. I could see it being equally valuable for children who don't have a stuttering challenge to gain more understanding of this condition-- and to learn how they might react in helpful ways if a friend stutters. What do you think?


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