Teachers have a BIG role
Encourage the Child
Accept the child like any other. Let her or him read in the class, like other students. Maintain good eye contact, listen calmly and ask questions when the child talks to you. Encourage him to talk more in the class and elsewhere. Do not tolerate if the child is bullied, mocked or harassed by other children. Let other children know that such behavior is wrong and why. This page gives suggestions for both parents and teachers. Many parents may not know that their child stammers in the school and is facing difficulties. You may pass on these ideas to the parents of the child during Parent Teacher meetings. Valuable ideas for both parents and teachers in Hindi (Link)
Dont wait for the "Expert"
Many schools have Special Educator today. Take help from them. Child does not need any concession in home work, study or reading in class – if teacher and other students are supportive. Encourage open discussion in class. Let the child make a presentation on what stammering is. Bullying and Teasing MUST be stopped in school, since it has a long term detrimental effect on child’s communication skills and attitude. Dont doubt your capacity to help a child successfully. He may never get a chance to go to a speech therapist. You can certainly help.
Hats off to this teacher – ERICA! See how little actions can have big effects on children! Read the full story here.
Another teacher shares how she helps students who stammer in her class here; Especially see the last paragraph. To such teachers, we have only one thing to say: Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu… (Teacher is the God in human form, we bow to you, ever!)
What do students have to say?
We did have some VERY good teachers (like above) and some not so sensitive- or may be, they just did not know what to do with us, when we were in a block! Many of us have painful memories of growing up where no one understood us and our dark secret – our stammering. It is better that we share it now. So that everyone gets better informed and things change.. may be?