Tahlequah Daily Press

August 30, 2013

Stutterers can get help from library

A new DVD has plenty of advice for parents of those who have trouble speaking.

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — srowley@tahlequahdailypress.com

To help parents of children who are having trouble with speaking, the Stuttering Foundation has donated a DVD to the Eastern Oklahoma District Library System, and that includes the Tahlequah Public Library.

The DVD, “Stuttering and Your Child: Help for Parents,” can be checked out to help parents detect stuttering and take action toward helping their child.

“Donations such as these are vital to the library,” said Robin Mooney, branch manager for the Tahlequah Public Library. “If they can identify a need and help us meet it, that makes us an even more valuable resource.”

Parents are excited when their child first begins to talk, but if a child struggles to speak, it can create anxiety.  

As many as 5 percent of preschool children nationwide have repetitions and prolongations of sounds severe enough to worry their parents.

Produced by the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation, the film describes what types of stuttering young children may exhibit, how parents can help, and the role of a speech pathologist in evaluating and treating stutterers.

Speech specialists on the DVD address common concerns parents have about their children, such as how to help a child at home and whether to seek the advice of a speech pathologist. Strategies parents can use are given throughout the DVD and include reducing the number of questions they ask the child; focusing on taking turns during conversations; and making time to read or talk with the child in a relaxed manner.

Books and DVDs are available free to any public library. Libraries can contact the foundation at (800) 992-9392, write to info@stutteringhelp.org, or visit www.stutteringhelp.org or www.tartarmudez.org.

National Stuttering Awareness Week is the second week in May each year. International Stuttering Awareness Day is Oct. 22 annually.

Mooney noted the library offers other titles parents can consult to help their children with speech.

“We have books and informational media on this topic,” she said. “We encourage people to visit the library and see what we have to offer.”

The Stuttering Foundation recommends seven tips for talking with children who stutter:

1.  Speak with the child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.

2.  Reduce the number of questions asked of the child.

3.  Parents should use facial expressions and other body language to convey they are listening to the content of the message and not to how the child is talking.

4.  Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when to give undivided attention to the child.

5.  Help all members of the family learn to take turns talking and listening.

6.  Parents should observe the ways they interact with their children.

7.  Above all, parents should convey that they accept their children as they are.