Join us for an open house. Meet the experts and enjoy discussion and Q&A with Phil Schneider EdD CCC-SLP, Uri Schneider MA CCC-SLP and Leya Rubin MS CCC-SLP
College grad Parker Mantell delivered wisdom beyond his years and went viral as an eloquent and inspiring Indiana University commencement speaker (who stutters). Parker is a friend and an outstanding citizen - and he continues to pursue his path in the world of politics. I met Parker at the National Stuttering Association conference and the impact of perseverance and insight he left me with then, still remain today.
His spoken words ring true today, as they did in 2014 by his commencement! Watch the video below for the full clip:
PODCAST with Parker
Listen to Stuttertalk podcast with Parker Mantell.
For StutterTalk page click here.
“Boldly breaking through barriers not only opens doors for you, but it opens doors for others. Parker Mantell talks through how people in history, working through their challenges, empowered him to work through his stutter. He challenges the audience to do the same for the next generation.” (TedTalk, description)
She stutters when she speaks, but not when she sings. What is going on in that beautiful mind?Watch and see - and LISTEN - to Rebecca.
Rebecca is an incredibly dignified, courageous and articulate woman. We are sure you will agree after you hear what she has to say (and sing.) She uses her voice to express vivid images and powerful emotions - struggle and pain as well as friendship and acceptance. Likely, you will find yourself full of emotion as you watch and listen to Rebecca. We encourage you to focus on the message of her words as she demonstrates poise and poetry to express herself.
Then, wait for (or skip to 8:14) the moment Rebecca transitions from delivering spoken words as she stands behind a lectern, and switches to sit on a stool in center stage with a guitar and singing sweet song (written, composed and performed by the one and only, Rebecca Klein.)
All of us want to raise confident kids.
The kids who will grow-up to be secure adults, with healthy relationships and meaningful lives.
It starts EARLY and it's FREE.
We can teach our kids how much they matter, when we listen to what they say. We don't have to agree, and we don't have to meet their demands - but when we turn to kids to listen to their words, we send them a powerful message. We show them how much they matter, and how much we value their communication with us. If we do this, we can "keep kids talking" and we can plant values of self-esteem and self-expression.
These values, planted early and often, can spring into big kids, and young adults with self-worth. So they know that stutter or no stutter, they are intrinsically worthwhile. The world will listen to what they have to say and value it. We do that by showing them that WE listen and WE care and value what they say. This will build their self-esteem and their courage.
1- Good listening is good loving. We hear them and acknowledge that we WANT to hear what they have to say.
2- We need to work on honoring the essence of the message our children are putting out to us. Stuttering is the surface. Beneath that, they want to connect to us and share their experiences with us. We need to honor that so they always feel comfortable speaking with us.
Click below to listen to the podcast - with Peter Reitzes of Stuttertalk.com
Check out our Instagram @schneiderspeech for more!
Check-out our favorite TED Talks below.
TED Talks are incredible opportunities to hear from leading thinkers, as they present bit-size talks on world-class stage.
These talks make you think - and make you feel - differently.
Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be on the stage sharing YOUR story.
How do we foster learning and growth? We need the right balance of "pressure" with "safety."
Only as we explore new territory, outside the familiar comfortable routines, we find opportunities to learn and grow.
As we confront challenges, engage in problem solving the puzzles, we are forced to dig deeper. As we are pressed past the boundaries of the familiar, we discover the world of learning.
But we need to feel safe enough to explore. And that makes all the difference.
If it's just PRESSURE, then we are too pressed and unable to really learn more than spit-back.
Check out our Instagram @SchneiderSpeech for more great content!
Depending on the child's age, there are security blankets to consider - before and upon arriving at therapy. Here’s our list of things we think you should consider:
Bring a snack (ask therapist if this is "ok," ahead of time!)
Bring a familiar book
Bring a favorite toy or game
Tell the child "the therapist is NOT a doctor" (i.e. no shots)
Assure the child they will not be left alone in the room without parent (discuss ahead of time with therapist)
Ask the therapist what the child (and parent!) should expect during the appointment, and relay that to your child
Prepare some notes to inform the therapist of your child's interests, hobbies, accomplishments
Prepare the child to answer basic questions - and if the child may be reluctant, make a plan with the child how they would like to handle the situation
As parents we want our kids to tell us more, but often we’re frustrated by their one-word responses; leaving us curious and pressing for more info.
Make it more fun (and less of an interrogation) with questions suggested by Huffington Post! Click here for the full article.
Here are some of our favorites:
Where is the coolest place at the school?
Tell me something good that happened today.
If you could switch seats with anyone in the class, who would you trade with? Why?
If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?
If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
Think these could work for your kids? Try it out and let us know how it goes!
We often hear things like:
"My child is not showing much motivation and seems disinterested - but my husband and I really want him/her to do this."
"I'm concerned about my child's speech and I really want them do the work to get better."
Here are some things to remember during this confusing time!
Stakeholders - Both parents and children have their own valid concerns!
Kids have the right to decline
Make it inviting
We hope these tips help you to decide what's best for your child!
Play our video above on this topic!
Here’s a recap!
For different people, different things are going to be helpful. At Schneider Speech, we don't use the term ‘stuttering modification’ or ‘fluency shaping’, instead it's always based on: what are the client’s needs, what are the client’s goals. We can figure out and custom tailor fit the right therapy plan for them once we identify the following:
what their needs are
what their communication spirit is
what is the nature of their stuttering
what their goals are
where they would like to be more free to speak and speak fully and express themselves fully we can figure out and custom tailor fit the right therapy plan for them.
Here's some general tips about stuttering therapy:
if a technique doesn't work, it's not worth it
if a technique is not acceptable if it doesn't sound better than their other way of speaking it's not good enough
don' make it robotic - if it's so effortful they can't remember what it was they wanted to say because they're so focused on strategies, IT'S NOT A STRATEGY THAT WORKS.
a good therapist, is going to tune into that and make an adjustment, either to change something about the technique or change direction entirely.
Things to remember when thinking about seeking speech therapy:
What Type of parent are you?
Are you able to “watch-and-see” and tolerate allowing some more time, and give your child the opportunity to sort it out themselves?
Are you more concerned, risk-aversive and more comfortable being more proactive rather than applying a more patient approach?
What ABOUT YOUR CHILD? And They’re Temperament?
Is your child reactive and fussy?
Is your child easy-going and unbothered?
IF Parents and kids are not concerned…
If neither parent, nor the child is concerned - it can be a legitimate option to allowing more time. There is no objective need to rush to therapy sooner than later.
(In some cases there can be reasons to seek therapy sooner than later", but it’s not always true that “early intervention” is always the best policy.)
If you choose to “watch and see,” then put a date on your calendar to follow-up (4-12 weeks later). Something like this: “If by this date, nothing has changed, let’s give therapy a try.”
Click here for a practical infographic - when to seek professional stuttering evaluation for your young child who stutters.
For more - see the video above.
3 Tips for Active Listening (between adults and kids)
1. Get down to the child's level, shoulder-to-shoulder. Sit down and meet them at eye level.
2. Ask yourself - 'How much am I talking here?’ Optimal balance is 50/50. This way we do half the talking and the child does half the talking
3. We need to start to think about talking with the language complexity that matches the child. Talk about trains, bugs, whatever they want!
I would like to recommend the book, ‘How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk’, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. In this book, you'll see cartoon illustrations and chapters that really talk about a lot of what I’ve just talked about. A second book I would recommend, is the book called, ‘Brain Rules for Babies’, by John J. Medina. It's written in a way that's very easy to consume, but it's written by a scientist, someone I recommend and really respect.
Click the image above to play our video
The therapy has to be fit for the person you’re working with
approach for pre-schoolers who stutter
Stuttering for preschool children is often just a blip and may resolve on its own.
Not a lot of stigma, or judgment; very matter of fact
Focused primarily on physical behaviors of stuttering
Focus on supporting parents and empowering them to help their children
transition from pre-school to school-age and beyond
At some point, in the early school years, children begin to compare themselves to others
‘My hair is different’,
‘My body image is not the same as everyone else’,
‘My skin color isn't the same’
The “non-physical”/emotional component of stuttering is introduced
As we move into the school-age, teen, and adult years, we have to think about how the person may be faced with thoughts and feelings around stuttering, and how that affects their overall experience in life and self-image.
Joseph Sheehan’s Analogy of the Iceberg
We think about how each person experiences the “physical” vs. “non-physical” components of stuttering to determine what therapy approach is best:
How much of the work is above the surface?
Behaviors we can hear or see like a stutter, or a body movement
What's beneath the surface?
Emotions and thoughts we often can't see, both positive and negative; shame, guilt, confidence, acceptance
Click the video above to start watching
The Right Way Vs. the Wrong Way
There is no right way
There is a wrong way, which is to try to do a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.
We may be the professionals and we may be the experts, but we're not the boss. A mother's intuition, a father's intuition is the best knowledge and the best guide in the process.
remember what stuttering is
a physical issue not an emotionally based issue
a neurophysiological issue, which involves the coordination of signals and neurons in the brain setting up the coordination of the speech mechanism
Stuttering is NOT
a learning disability
caused by anxiety
caused by parents
Good Communication Values
Plant communication values during moments of opportunity. You don't teach values, you plant them.
If we can listen to what the child has to say and practice active listening at the moment that the child is getting stuck, we can send a very powerful message to that young child. And that message is:
“What you have to say is worth listening to, no matter how it comes out. I'm listening to what you have to say more than how you say it”.
So, you or your child stutters.
Before you consult too much with Dr. Google, let us share some helpful facts to steer you in a helpful direction (also see our infographic).
Sometimes the best place to start is to understand what stuttering is NOT...
Stuttering is NOT an emotional problem
Stuttering is NOT a cognitive problem
Stuttering is NOT caused by parents
Stuttering is likely pre-wired, within the child's neurophysiological "wiring" at birth. Often, stuttering first appears years later during the developmental years of 2-8, correlated to developmental and/or environmental conditions.
Many kids go through some dysfluency or fluency instability for a period of time and move through it. The incidence is probably underreported for those who are younger and experience disfluency for shorter durations of time.
Research suggests that five out of a hundred (5%) kids stutter for six months or more, and only one out of a hundred (1%) retain the trait into adulthood.
So, there is a strong likelihood that this is not going to be a lifelong trait. This can be something optimistic to know, and valuable to keep in mind.
With that being said, when your child is stuttering, you don't care about statistics. You don't want your child to become a statistic.
So I think it's really important for people who care for families to remember that.
Parents don't need statistics. They need help as parents and they want to help their child the very best they can.
I think finding what's right for you, finding the right resource of information for yourself is the best thing you can do. Anyone who knows me, and anyone who knows this issue would agree that binging on Dr. Google is probably the worst thing you could possibly do!
There are good resources out there, and support groups for families who are dealing with this issue with their children.
We are not the only address, but we can be a good one for you.
You can contact us. Stay tuned as we roll-out more content, videos and free webinars like this!
Click the video above to check it out!
some tips and strategies for working with your pre-schooler who stutters:
1. Understand the whole child
What are their language skills?
Are they having trouble with language?
Do they have trouble understanding language?
Maybe they understand language very well, but they have trouble expressing themselves. You want to understand everything about their language.
2. Look at their temperament
Some kids are really rough and tough, ‘rock’em sock’em’. They just keep ticking, no matter what happens.
Some kids are really sensitive. They're sensitive themselves and they tend to be very sensitive towards others.
I'd work differently with a four-year-old with an easy going temperament versus one with a tougher temperament.
3. Provide CUSTOM therapy
Our goal, whatever approach we’re going to be employing is that we don't throw any approach or anything too rigid on anybody. We try to:
tailor fit the right therapy
borrow from the best research and popular approaches out there
But none of them are a cure-all for every child. So, it's a real decision-making process, engaging the parents, putting the parents in the driver's seat, and making sure that we're working with the child.
4. Treat them like people
we need to make sure that the communication that we encourage between parents and children is naturalistic, not artificial and plastic.
In doing so, hopefully we can help them with the physical side of stuttering, and also help them with the communication values to keep talking and have the confidence they were born with!
Click the video above to start watching!
What to do when a parent wants therapy but a child does not?
Ask yourself: What's the root of the problem?
Thinking about what the child's concerns are and helping to alleviate them can be a big step forward.
Talk about it in a different way
Present therapy in a new light! For example:
“Mommy and daddy noticed that sometimes your words are getting stuck. We love you and we found someone who knows a lot about kids whose words get stuck and we want to get some help, some tips, some advice on how we can do the best we can for you. Would you like to come?”
3. Respect them
As they get older, they start to own shares of their life. Allow the child's voice to be heard, even if it's not what we wish to hear.
Now how about this...
‘How do you work with children who might not want to be in therapy?’
1. Learn what's troubling them
If a child is going through something significant in their life, like a stutter, learn what it is and what it's not. Let them know help exists.
2. Give them an invitation
Give a child an opportunity and an invitation. It can be helpful to present therapy as a project: “Would you be interested in a little project? We'll meet for three times and learn a little bit more about this whole speech thing.”
Click the video above to start watching!
Here’s a recap of our video!
Talking about stuttering with your teen can be challenging, but it needs to happen! Read below for some tips on approaching this sensitive topic in a safe and dignified way.
1. Don't ignore the elephant in the room!
The worst thing to do is to pretend the stuttering is not there. That sends a message (and transmits a value/judgement) that this way of talking is a "no-no," taboo, we don't talk about it.
2. Talk about it, in a way that is respectful, dignified and nuanced
Use descriptive language - not judgmental language.
If we can use words that are descriptive and just acknowledge what it is, we can talk about stuttering in a respectful and sensitive manner
i.e.: “It must be hard sometimes, would you like to find some ways to learn how to make it easier to talk about it?”
Being insensitive can lead to negative outcomes including poor self-image, reduced confidence and ultimately, a young person who retreats into a safer shell of silence.