Support for school-related difficulties of stuttering children
Stuttering, which is also called “Domori”, is a language-based fluency disorder. The main symptoms are “repetitions” (e.g., c-c-cold), “prolongations” (e.g., mmmmom), and “blocks”, in which the stutterer has a hard time getting a word out. About 5% of children ages 2 to 5 will develop some stuttering during their childhood, and about 70% of them recover naturally or are cured by treatment conducted by therapists. However, if their stuttering doesn’t get cured by early childhood, not only will they have difficulty in speaking fluently, but they may also experience psychological problems such as fear of stuttering, avoiding communication, and social anxiety disorders. Especially after school age, children who stutter will face difficulties related to stuttering, since there are more situations where the children have to speak in front of the class, such as reading aloud or classroom presentation. Therefore, children who stutter after school age require not only speech therapy, but also social support, such as learning about stuttering and getting self-confidence in their speech.
Our student group “UUUkai” provides an exchange meeting for children from preschool through high school, and their parents as well. Our group were mainly organized by students who stutter from the University of Tsukuba, in cooperation with members of the “Genyukai” (a self-help group for adults who stutter), speech language pathologists, and teachers in Ibaraki Prefecture. We are giving advice to children who stutter and their parents by sharing knowledge about stuttering and supporting difficulties in school life. Through this activity, we aim to eliminate the anxiety and loneliness of children who stutter and to help them develop confidence in speaking at school.
(2019 Tsukuba Action Project)
Associate ProfessorFaculty of Human Sciences
International and Advanced Japanese Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Medicine, School of Medicine and Sciences