Calling all parents!

As part of ASC’s continuing review of speech and language services across the UK, we have commissioned a survey for parents of children who stammer, to give them the opportunity to talk about the quality of service provided in their area. We believe that the input of parents is incredibly important to the charity’s review, as they have first-hand experience of the effect the quality of language therapy can have on a child who stammers.

One of our youth panel members, Thomas Broom, talks about how having his parents support in dealing with his stammer and their assistance in getting the right therapy, helped him tackle key milestones with confidence.

“My name is Thomas, and I have had a stammer from the age of 3. I had speech therapy from the age of 4, but I never found my stammer to be that much of an issue at primary school until Year 4. At this point, with the help of my speech therapist, my parents spoke to my teachers and made me feel comfortable and confident at school. My parents continued taking me to speech therapy quite frequently, working around work and other things, and were there whenever I needed them.

In Year 6, I went on a specialist speech and language therapy course, and my parents were again a big part of that. As well as taking me there every day, they were on the course with me, learning from it as well to help me even further. And all this time, my wonderful speech therapist was still supporting my parents, helping us to make the right decisions and to boost my confidence. 

Starting secondary school was always going to be stressful, but again my therapist and parents were helping. My parents spoke to my teachers and also helped me when I told my class about my stammer, which was the best thing I could have done, and made me feel comfortable at school, knowing that people understood.

I think it’s important that parents are involved in the shaping of the services for their children because, at the end of the day, they know their children best, and know what is needed for their child. There are also things that the parents themselves need to learn and understand about stammering.”

-Thomas Broom

If you are a parent, guardian or carer of a child who stammers, please take 10 minutes to complete our survey, we would love to hear about your experiences.

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/WM22KXR

The survey will close on the 31st December with results being published in mid-January.


A message from our Youth Panel

 

Action for Stammering Children (ASC) is the Charity that works hard to help children and young people who stammer.  We asked Joel Winston, a member of our Youth Panel, to write about what it’s like to have a stammer and how having speech and language therapy helped him regain his confidence.

“My name is Joel Winston I am 14 and I have a stammer.  The first way in which my stammer affects me is when I am at school I often find it quite difficult to speak or read out loud in class as I find this puts me under pressure and when I am under pressure to speak, my stammer becomes a lot worse. In school there are certain classes which I find it more difficult than others and this largely depends upon the number of people in the class and my teacher.

Outside of school the therapy I have had has been at the Michael Palin Centre and I have found this to be very helpful. My first form of therapy was with a speech and language therapist who I would meet with once a week and during our sessions we would discuss how my stammer had been during the past week and how we thought we could improve.  The sessions were helpful because they gave me the opportunity to relax a little bit and to not feel so stressed about my stammer.

Two years ago I attended a two-week intensive stammering course where I was introduced to other children who stammered. Working with other children of my age and with a stammer was incredibly helpful because I realised that I was not alone with my stammer and all of the experiences that I had gone through could be shared in the groups. I could also hear of other people’s experiences. For many of us, it was the first opportunity that we had had to meet other people of our age group with a stammer.

During the course we were constantly pushed to work outside our comfort zones. This included having to read for 30 seconds in front of the therapists, parents and our fellow group members. Another thing we had to do was go out on the street and ask simple questions such as the time and directions to somewhere. This was helpful as it gave me a confidence boost that my stammer was not as bad as I thought it was compared to the others attending the course.”

–          Joel Winston

ASC want every child and young person to have access to a brilliant speech and language therapist.

If you are a speech and language therapist, please can you spare 10 minutes of your time to fill out this questionnaire so we can hear from you personally.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MV3P8HB

ASC’s Youth Panel would like to work with the Board of Trustees to help reach as many children and young people and we hope the results from this survey will help them do that.