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Routine Helps Student Who Stutters

August 7, 2013
By Marge Eberts and Peggy Gisler

Question: My young child has started to stutter. Should we start him on speech therapy this summer? What else can we do to help him? Our friends suggest such things as taking a deep breath before talking and making our home environment less stressful.

-- Stuttering Problem

Answer: According to The Stuttering Foundation, stuttering is an individualized problem, and some children may actually stutter more during the summer because their structure and routine have been taken away and this can cause the child more stress. They also suggest that the summer is a great time to start therapy.

During summer vacation and throughout the year, there are things parents can do to help a child who stutters. The Stuttering Foundation offers these tips:

1. Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently. Wait a few seconds after your child finishes speaking before you begin to speak. Your own slow, relaxed speech will be far more effective than any criticism or advice such as "slow down" or "try it again slowly."

2. Reduce the number of questions you ask your child. Children speak more freely if they are expressing their own ideas rather than answering an adult's questions. Instead of asking questions, simply comment on what your child has said, thereby letting him know you heard him.

3. Use your facial expressions and other body language to convey to your child that you are listening to the content of his or her message and not to how he or she is talking.

The Foundation offers free streaming videos, books, downloadable brochures and a worldwide referral list on their website. Help is available on their website,, and by calling 800-992-9392.

Science Activity: These experiments are done with eggs. If you like them, go online to discover more egg experiments for kids.

The Floating Egg

1. Place an uncooked in a glass of plain water.

2. Place another egg in a glass of water with 10 heaping tablespoons of salt.

3. Observe what happens to each egg.

4. Remove the eggs from the glasses and pour out half of the plain water. Refill the glass with the salt water.

5. Place an egg in this mixture and observe what happens.

You have learned about density. Salt water is denser than plain water, so the egg rises to the top.

The Soft Egg Shell (younger children should do this experiment with their parents)

1. Use a pin to make a hole on the ends of an uncooked egg.

2. Blow the insides of the egg out through one of the holes. If this doesn't work, make the hole larger.

3. Put the empty eggshell in a cup filled with a sugary soda and leave it there for 24 hours.

4. Observe what has happened to the eggshell.

5. Think about what soda might do to your teeth.

The Bouncing Egg

1. Place a hard-boiled egg in a bowl.

2. Cover the egg with vinegar.

3. After three days, remove the egg from the bowl.

4. Rinse the shell off the egg.

5. Bounce the egg on a hard surface.

Send questions and comments to Dear Teacher, in care of Mahoning Valley Parent, 1 N. Illinois St. No. 2004, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or log on to, or email



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