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