Clinical Services - Stammering


Catrina Dawson BSc.(Hons). MRCSLT
Speech and Language Therapist
Catrina Dawson

Catrina has extensive experience of working with the children and teenagers with dysfluency (stammering). She provides specialist training for parents and direct therapy for the children with a stammer.

There is no clear cause for stammering, factors including a range of experiences, life events, underlying language skills, inherited and other environmental factors may influence the development of a stammer. Approximately 5% of children are dysfluent at some time between the ages of 2->5 years of age. The majority will overcome this difficulty with early therapy.


Dysfluency can occur within normal language development and very young children, the first type of support offered is parental advice in order to maximise fluency within the home environment Child are regularly reviewed in order to monitor any changes that occur in their fluency. Direct therapy is offered for older children and teenagers who can learn self help strategies in individual or group therapy.

Helpful tips to support fluency in the home may include:

  1. Maintain natural eye contact with the child
  2. Wait for the chid to say what they want to without finishing off their sentences for them
  3. Spend 5 minutes quality time with the child giving them your entire attention

Further strategies will be discussed within an individual consultation appointment.

If the child has been stammering for over a year and is presenting with more frequent repetitions and hesitations the therapist uses the Lidcombe Programme with parents. This therapy is a more direct therapy and supports parents in establishing child fluency by devising short activities to be completed daily with the child. This demands weekly attendance in the clinic for therapy.

For older clients (over 7 years) therapy takes two routes.
  • Talking through the psychological factors that maybe impacting on fluency and learning to understand the stammer further.
  • Generating speech shaping strategies to adapt the way the student talks in order to be in control of the stammer rather than the stammer being in control of them
Therapy may also take the role of practising for important speaking times in a students life i.e.
  • Preparing of GCSE orals
  • Practicing speaking roles in drama, presentations
  • Practicing for interviews
  • Talking on the telephone
Support can also be offered into school either by reports/advice sheets or through a visit into school to train staff.

Please contact the Roundway Centre for more details or to organise a consultation.