These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

eckhardt.jpg About the presenter: Judith Eckardt, CCC/SLP, is a Board Recognized Fluency Specialist She received her training at the University of Wisconsin, worked in the IL public schools for many years, and maintains a private practice in Tucson, AZ. Since 1999, she has been a clinical supervisor at Eastern Washington University for the Successful Stuttering Management Program (SSMP). Judith is a stutterer and she founded NSA Metro North in 1996 in IL. In June 2000, she was Chair of the Annual Convention of the National Stuttering Association in Chicago. Currently she is on the Board of Directors and Secretary of the International Stuttering Association She has presentationed both nationally and internationally. To improve her own communication skills, she is a member of Toastmasters International in Tucson and is working on her ATM (advanced certification).

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

by Judith Eckhardt
from Arizona, USA

Please use this collection of some of my favorite handouts to help children who stutter. (The collection is linked in PDF files. You will need a free Adobe Acrobat reader to access them. If you don't already have one installed, you can get one at Some of these handouts have been used for 40+ years and were initially typed on a manual typewriter. . Please read the introduction to learn why it is One of My Favorite Things. Feel free to print these handouts and to use them to help parents and grandparents, teachers and caregivers, and children who stutter. They have been used many, many times during my career as a speech and language pathologist and in workshops/in services for practicing SLPs in the USA and internationally.

Materials for Parents

  • Child Management For Parents - Most parents want their children to enjoy life and be happy, healthy, fun-loving family members. Few parents actually choose to yell or be grouchy and disgruntled caretakers of their children. Nevertheless, raising children is the most demanding and responsible job any adult has ever assumed. In recent years, the job of being a parent has become even more difficult and frustrating. The purpose of this brochure is to help parents guide their child's behavior in a more effective and pleasant manner. It is important to remember that, although children are born with different characteristics, attitudes and potential, they must still live as a social being in a family structure. For a family to function well, all family members are expected to follow certain rules. However, all rules must be reasonable and necessary.
  • Guidelines For Living With A Busy Child - Often children who stutter can be the more busy kind of child. It just seems to be part of their neurological make up. These are some basic guidelines for living with the busy child that can be discussed with the parents and caregivers. The form can be used as a worksheet and suggestions can be written in the spaces. It is most important for the busy child to retain a good self concept and channel the high energy into productive activities. Swimming is a great summer activity. We do not want the busy child labeled as a BAD BOY or GIRL.
  • The Top Ten "To Do" List for parent of preschool children - Parents and grandparents are often very scared when stuttering emerges in the preschool child. This especially occurs when there is a history of stuttering within the family. This is a short, simple basic suggestion list from the NSA. Sometimes for adults in the family who stutter, this is their first introduction to help for themselves as a person who stutters from the NSA.
  • The Top 10" List For Teens - The teenage years are very difficult for the normal developing child and even more so for the teen who stutters. Teenagers don't want to be different and stuttering makes them different. Often their stuttering increases and seems to be out of control. More research needs to be done on the influence of hormonal changes and stuttering. These changes may greatly increase stuttering and when the teen tries not to stutter, the stuttering becomes more severe. This NSA list has some good basic ideas for teens and their families, emphasizes acceptance of stuttering, and most important introduces them to the NSA. From the NSA, they will receive the feeling that "They are not alone".
  • Parent Information For Preschool Children Who Stutter - When stuttering emerges in the preschool child, this is a fearful situation for parents and grandparents, especially if there is stuttering in the family. This handout is used to increase knowledge about stuttering, reduce the parental guilt for causing stuttering, and gives fluency enhancement suggestions. It is given to the parents and often is extended to additional family members and caregivers. Sometimes, extended families have come forward to participate in genetic stuttering research.
  • Ways To Build Your Child's Self-Esteem - The best gift parents can give a child is to enhance and retain a good self concept. Stuttering itself reduces a child's self concept by making them feel different and frustrated by their inability to get words out smoothly. The inconsistency of the disorder is most frustrating and sometimes when they are most happy with excitement, they have the most difficulty talking. This handout gives ideas for enhancing basic self-esteem in children. If children who stutter feel good about themselves they will communicate more even if they stutter.

Materials for Teachers

  • Fluency Information For The Teacher - This form is to be completed by school personnel based upon observations in the classroom. This form is not to be completed by parents/guardians.
  • Some Suggestions For Teachers For Managing Students Who Stutter - Teachers are basically good people and want to do the best for children who stutter. Often they do not know what to do or say. This is a guide for them. In addition, if a SLP is asked to do an in service for teachers at school, the SFA video STUTTERING: STRAIGHT TALK FOR TEACHERS is an excellent resource to be used with this handout.

Materials for diagnosis

  • Child Disfluency Analysis Using 20 Questions For Testing - Basically, a verbal autopsy needs to be done on the production skills.
  • Suggested Diagnostic Methods - from Dean Williams who was a master clinician. This is part of a very old form which can be used as a guide when doing observations of stuttering from a school age child. Stuttering is observed in different settings using various kinds of communication pressure situations. The original form had percentage of stuttering, however, I do not think percentage of stuttering is an accurate measure of severity. Stuttering is too variable. In addition, cognitive and emotional aspects need to be observed. Using a scale such as the new ACES can be very useful for diagnostics and planning treatment for the whole child.
  • Measures Of Severity Of Stuttering - This is a basic diagnostic summary worksheet to collect information about the child who stutters. For me, percentage of stuttering has never been a good measure of severity. Stuttering is too variable from day to day, minute to minute. It is most important to observe kinds of stuttering and secondary behaviors, try to detect avoidance behaviors, and look at existing shame of stuttering. Often children with a high percentage of stuttering can be effective communicators when their shame of stuttering is not pervasive.

Materials for intervention

  • Direct Intervention With Preschool Children: Altering The Child's Talking Behaviors - This handout is for SLPs working with preschool children. It gives some basic therapy ideas. In a workshop for SLPs, it is used in conjunction with observing demonstration video therapy tapes.
  • Fluency Enhancing Therapy For Preschool Children - When stuttering emerges in the preschool child, this is a fearful situation for parents and grandparents, especially if there is stuttering with in the family. The family and caregivers need information and suggestions. This handout is used as a guide for SLPs in giving information and fluency enhancement suggestions after the diagnostic sessions. If possible the SFA video STUTTERING AND THE PRESCHOOL CHILD, HELP FOR FAMILIES has been observed and discussed with the family and caregivers. To spread the information and suggestions, the video tape and other printed information are sent home for the extended family and caregivers.
  • Strategies For Some Children Ages 6-8 Years - This handout is intended for SLPs working with school age children. By the time a child is 6 years of age, there is a very good chance that the child will be an adult who stutters. These are some basic therapy ideas to work on modifying the stuttering in sequential steps and maintaining a good self concept. Two specific cases are sited with examples of therapy procedures.
  • Therapy Plan For Many Preschool Children: Stuttering Plus Other Speech/Language Problems - Often preschool children who stutter have co-existing speech and language problems. The problems most often involve difficulties with communication pressure, reduced language formulation/word finding skills, and multiple articulation/phonology errors. This handout has extensive therapy ideas for the SLP.
  • Therapy Plan For Many Preschool Children Who Stutter- This is handout for SLPs working with preschool children who stutter. It gives basic therapy ideas for reducing communication stress and sibling influence.
  • Stuttering Survey For Desensitization Work - Kids who stutter love doing this survey as young as 7-8 years of age. It is a great SHAME BUSTER. Give them a clip board and ask them to survey Mom and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, and their teachers. They love talking about their answers. It really reduces shame of stuttering by getting everyone to talk about stuttering. As we know, secondary behaviors develop when a child is trying to hide stuttering. These behaviors will fall away when a child reduces shame of stuttering and eliminates avoidance behaviors.