School-Age Child

The dichotic listening procedure

Clinical Questions
As with preschool-age children, it is important to begin
an evaluation with certain questions in mind. What is this
child’s frequency of stuttering? What types of disfluencies
does he display, and what is the percentage ofSLDs? What is
the child’s severity? What is his speech rate? With rare exceptions,
the question of whether the youngster is normally disfluent
or stuttering is not an issue. By age 6, most children
who stutter do so in ways that are quite different from the
normal disfluencies typical for their age. Another question is
what emotions and attitudes does the child have about stuttering
and about speaking? School children with notable fear
and avoidance may need special attention to these feelingsand

behaviors. Information about risk factors (e.g., gender,
family history) are important but not as critical as they are
for a preschool child. By the time a child is in school, natural
recovery is less likely than in the preschool years; thus, an
absence of risk factors doesn’t warrant withholding or delaying
Information from the child’s teachers, the clinician’s
observations of his speech in class and in the treatment room,
and information from his family are all required to assign
the child a developmental/treatment level. Questions about
treatment of children in the public schools can be answered
only in the context of federal and state laws, which are considered
in the next section. With any school-age child, it is
vital to determine the child’s school performance and how
stuttering interferes with it.

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