Treating the School-Age Child
Children between the ages of 7-12 years have entered a more "social" stage of development, where they are able to recognize subtle changes in speech production. These changes in perception require changes in treatment. They are taught smooth speaking techniques, speaking modifications as well as coping strategies to deal with teasing and negative thoughts and feelings.
Family continues to be an important element in the therapeutic process. Parents are supported and encouraged in how to be most helpful to their child’s success. Peers, as well, are used to encourage and motivate each other. Teachers are instructed in the best ways to help the school-age child transfer his easier speaking skills to the school environment. Often, Susan and her colleagues conduct therapy sessions in the private therapeutic setting and at school in order to better integrate the newly acquired speaking skills.
Together; Ms. Cochrane, parents, teachers, friends and other significant people in the child’s life, create links around the child who stutters, sustaining him during this time of change. Here the children outline Ms. Cochrane and themselves. The upper torso and head are outlined and the internal parts that allow speech formation are drawn. From this the children gain an understanding of what physically happens when they speak and can begin to learn control.