4 year old ds with stutter - will private school help him??(33 Posts)
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....
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.
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.
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).
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.
Thanks schmedz. We are going to keep him in the state system. Thank you everyone for your feedback. Tb x
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