4 year old ds with stutter - will private school help him??

(33 Posts)
testbunny Sun 24-Mar-13 09:17:14

Hi there.

He is currently having therapy (his dad has a stutter too). I would prefer to send him to a state school (he will be starting reception in September), but would a smaller class size in a private school help him? Money would be an issue, but it is doable and I want to give him the best chance possible.

Any advise would be welcome - I am really worried about him....

Thank you.

LIZS Sun 24-Mar-13 09:19:24

no generalised answer I'm afraid . You need to ask the school SENCO/form teacher if they will reinforce the therapy and how . Not all will.

ScottyDoc Sun 24-Mar-13 09:23:01

I don't think so tbh. My dc had a bad stutter and what helped were not only the techniques that the ST suggested, but spending quality one on one time and listening without prompting. The stutter has basically disappeared now. I doubt smaller class sizes would make a difference, I think it's the one on one and working alongside the ST to combat it.

ArabellaBeaumaris Sun 24-Mar-13 09:25:20

It depends what support each school can offer, surely.

rubyrubyruby Sun 24-Mar-13 09:26:16

I don't think it will make any difference tbh.

meditrina Sun 24-Mar-13 09:29:01

Smaller class sizes are not a "cure all".

You need to look carefully at SEN departments of the schools you are interested in, and discuss what support is readily available.

It's pretty late to be starting to look at private schools for this September (offers are made earlier than for state schools). You'll need to get on with researching the ones you are interested in ASAP.

MissLurkalot Sun 24-Mar-13 09:37:34

I've worked as a Speech and Drama teacher at private schools. You tend to get access to more extra curricular activities at private school. I coul help with confidence and the voice and how to use it, but I'm not a Speech Therapist... And private schools do not have resident Speech Therapists.

Yes, you'll have smaller classes... And that might help with his confidence.. and give him a more softer experience with his stutter/confidence. But, I don't believe a private school will give him access to anything more than a state school .

It sounds like you need reassurance.. And you need to speak to the school now, so they can tell you exactly what they can do for your son.
Do it now, and it will really help you and your son prepare for September.

If I were you, send him to private school. I have 4 children, so private isn't an option. But, if I was in your situation, and find finances could be sorted.. Do it. But, insist in asking the school for support with your son's stutter/confidence and what they can put in place for him.

Private elocution/speech and drama would be really great for him.. And if its a good school, they should have a resident teacher.
It could be one to one, two to one or, normally in reception years, it's larger groups of say 4-6 kids. But, you can request smaller, you'll just pay a bit more. It would go hand in hand with his Speech Therapy.. I would give him fun mouth exercises, teach him short poems and I would, overtime, prepare him to enter Speech and Drama exams, like LAMDA, and would maybe pair him up with someone and enter them at a local Competitive Festival to recite a fun poem together with some fun movement. Over time, this is all possible.

Arrange a meeting at the school and find out what they can offer. Put your mind at rest. x

Emetophobesmum Sun 24-Mar-13 09:45:15

All respect MissLurkalot but speech and drama/elocution are NOT a subsitute for speech therapy and could be absolutely disastrous.

My DD developed a stammer at age 4 and went to a private school after a disastrous first term at state primary where she was bullied for reasons unconnected to the stutter. The school was good in the sense that the classes were small and she got individual attention but the staff were extremely ill informed about stammering. In the end one of the speech therapists came to the school and spoke to the teacher.

The most important thing is to get speech therapy sorted out for the long term. We went to the Michael Palin centre in London. If you can get a referral there it is great. I don't think school matters so much as long as the teachers know how to handle it and bullying is stamped on straight away.

SanityClause Sun 24-Mar-13 09:46:15

No, a speech therapist will help him.

DS went to a private school for reception to year 2. When I took him privately to an Ed Psych, he said that he had LD of a dyslexic/dyspraxic nature. The so called SENCO did not even meet with me. (She had taught him in reception, and basically said he was lazy.) TBF, his classroom teacher was very supportive.

Anyway I have moved him to an other private school, but with much better SEN provision and he has come on apace.

So, do check with any school about how they will help him, before forking out a deposit!

(It would be cheaper to pay privately for a speech therapist than school fees......)

rubyrubyruby Sun 24-Mar-13 09:54:15

My DS has a stammer and had speech therapy aged 3.
He is in mainstream school and there are many children with similar problems.
Now aged 15 he is not cured but he controls it. He has his own particular ways of dealing with it and tbh - I know when he is struggling because I recognise those tactics. His teachers are flabbergasted when I tell them.

I'm not sure private school will give him access to better support and in fact, larger class size may expose to more children with similar or different problems meaning that he feels less conspicuous iykw,

MissLurkalot Sun 24-Mar-13 10:02:46

Emet.... I never said Speech and Drama replaces Speech Therapy.. !!!!
I would never suggest to replace it with what I do.
Read my post properly please before you put words into my mouth.

Of course Speech Therapy is vital. I was only saying Speech and Drama would work well alongside it. I've taught a number of pupils who had Speech Therapy aswell as coming to me! It can work hand in hand, especially with confidence.

Fallenangle Sun 24-Mar-13 10:04:12

Talk to the SENCO after Easter. Then, and this may not be easy, try to set up a meeting between the class teacher, the speech therapist, and yourself and your child for September. Everyone will then know what they are supposed to be doing and, hopefully, using the same approach.

Emetophobesmum Sun 24-Mar-13 10:06:32

I do not think speech and elocution are suitable for children who stammer. I did read your post and as the parent of a stammering child I think it would be an absolute disaster.

DeafLeopard Sun 24-Mar-13 10:25:26

As soon as you move out of the state system you lose access to Local Authority specialist support teams - Ed Psych, statements, funding etc.

The right school for your DC will make the most difference IME rather than smaller classes. So supportive knowledgeable SENCO.

MissLurkalot Sun 24-Mar-13 10:32:14

Ok, that's your opinion. I'm sorry it didn't work for your child.. But, that doesn't mean it wouldn't work for others.

Emetophobesmum Sun 24-Mar-13 10:36:36

Miss Lurkalot you should read up on how stammering is treated and you will see how it is blindingly obvious why speech and elocution are completely the wrong approach. It is likely to undo all the work the SLT has put in.

MissLurkalot Sun 24-Mar-13 10:42:34

Emet, please stop with your unkind remarks. I have not been unkind to you. I am purely offering advice to the OP about my experiences with young children who came to me, aswell as their Speech Therapist whilst at private school.

Stop trying to discredit everything I say. It's unkind to me, and frustrating for the OP and the other people following this thread.

ScottyDoc Sun 24-Mar-13 10:52:54

Emetophobesmum In my personal experience as a mum of a dc that had a very severe stammer/stutter, I actually found elocution to help him! One of the techniques we used was sitting together and chatting, and if he had a problem with a particular word or sentence, we would sound it out and practise it.

What works or doesn't work for YOUR child doesn't mean it will or won't work on another child. Your statements are only opinions, as are mine, and I found working alongside the ST as well as my own interaction and particularly practising sounds and words, helped my dc to overcome it. As I said, it has almost disappeared completely now. I think your comments to MissLurkalot are rude though and perhaps you need to relax.

Emetophobesmum Sun 24-Mar-13 11:06:54

I have a child who will have a stammer for life - it seems to be genetic like that of OP's child. I am very concerned that OP does not get the wrong impression. You are entitled to your opinion but I am not going to sit there and watch someone recommending solutions which in 12 years of studying stammering I think are utterly the wrong approach.

Emetophobesmum Sun 24-Mar-13 11:17:34

OP please look at the Michael Palin Centres' website - some useful advice there. Sorry can't link as on phone.

Schmedz Sun 24-Mar-13 11:29:49

If you go to a state school you are in all likelihood going to have better access to any LEA services for speech therapy. In a private school you will pay for any extra support on top of fees.
I do think SEN is better supported in the state system.

Emetophobesmum Sun 24-Mar-13 11:40:52

Personally we got no help from school private or state. My DD saw a local speech therapist for delayed speech and they refused to see her again for her stammer - refused to believe she had one. i rang up the head of speech therapy in my area and had a screaming row with her and contacted my MP. She eventually referred us - that was to the Michael Palin centre. DD has been seen there on and off for the last 12 years.

lljkk Sun 24-Mar-13 12:35:15

I think smaller would only be better of social phobia were part of the anxiety.

tiggytape Sun 24-Mar-13 17:22:11

You can pay for private speech therapy and that may be of more use especially if you can find a specialist in your area and start weekly sessions over an agreed course.
Children with dysfluency often prefer less performance pressure so a smaller class with even more focus on them than usual may not help at all. It may actually be worse than being part of a larger class.
As long as the school you pick follows the advice of the SLT, I cannot see how it will matter whether he goes to a state or private school though - the help for this condition is so specific, it isnt' something a private school will naturally do better.

testbunny Sun 24-Mar-13 18:17:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Emetophobesmum Sun 24-Mar-13 20:30:50

testbunny please don't feel bad, you have done the right thing to get your child early intervention and I really don't think the actual school can do much to help in the sense of therapy. What I would suggest is speaking to the school at an early stage and explain that you child stammers and how to deal with it (e.g. not questionning, listening etc). If you don't feel confident I am sure your speech therapist will be happy to.

What you do need to sort out is the speech therapy into the future as well as how you can help at home. The Michael Palin Centre website has some really useful helpsheets etc as well. We found "time to talk" and "special time" really helpful as well as the more conventional approaches. We also went on a couple of parent/child courses there to learn the various techniques.

I felt awful when my DD developed her stammer at age 4. I was really hopeful that she would overcome it (they say if they have it after 7 years old it will most likely not go). But she didn't. Speech therapy in later years has concentrated more on helping her with techniques to deal with it. She also did a group course with other children as a young teenager. She is now 16 and still stammers. It doesn't stop her speaking in class or anything like that but she is quite self conscious about it.

It is strongly hereditary in my family, my Mum and Grandfather had it. My husbands and his brothers have dyslexia which one of my children also has. We were told that the genes for dyslexia and stammering often seem to run together in families. In my opinion dyslexia is much more difficult to deal with.

tiggytape Sun 24-Mar-13 20:48:56

The school won't lead the therapy but they will need to support it. For example a child who stammers needs to be given space to answer questions and not put in a position where a quick answer is expected (so answering the register might have to be altered for example to include an option of putting his hand up rather than saying something quickly). Adults must not finish words for children who stammer and there are many other strategies that a SLT will teach you and discuss with you. They may also visit the school, see how your son copes in class and talk to your son's teacher and the SENCo about helping him in school.
The teacher or the SENCo don't need to be experts, they just need the SLT to provide clear guidance about how to help your son and then implement all suggestions so please don't worry about finding a school with someone who is an expert on this.

testbunny Sun 24-Mar-13 21:04:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

difficultpickle Sun 24-Mar-13 22:38:57

If the support you need is something that would normally be accessed through the LEA then you are better off in state school. If you choose private school you are closing the door on any help from the LEA.

Ds was well supported by the NHS from birth to starting school. He then needed something that was under the LEA's budget and the NHS could not help at all. We were told that if ds was in state school then he would be supported but as it came out of the LEA budget we could not because ds was at private school. Even the consultant in charge of the Child Development Centre couldn't do anything to help (she was equally frustrated by the attitude of the LEA).

testbunny Sun 24-Mar-13 22:45:02

Thank you bisjo. That is useful to know.

testbunny Sun 24-Mar-13 22:47:45

Thank you bisjo. That is useful to know.

Schmedz Sun 24-Mar-13 22:52:33

Test bunny, my DD is on the autistic spectrum and not in the state system. In hindsight, were she in a non-independent school she would have been referred through the school for diagnosis and had access to support services in school that have to be paid for privately because she is not in the state system.
There are probably very few state primaries that 'specialise' in supporting stammering, but at least in the state system you have the resources of any SEN team in the LEA more easily accessible (in theory). Michael Palin centre seems to be well respected and about the only specialist centre I have heard of to help with stammering in particular.

testbunny Mon 25-Mar-13 20:13:44

Thanks schmedz. We are going to keep him in the state system. Thank you everyone for your feedback. Tb x

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