Research on children who stutter

April 1, 2009

Situation should not be ignored

Parents who notice their young child beginning to stutter should seek help right away; and help is available at most public libraries.

In the past, experts incorrectly believed that paying attention to a child’s stuttering would exacerbate the situation. It was even feared that offering the child therapy “would arouse the child’s awareness and cause more stuttering,” said Ehud Yairi, speech-language pathologist and researcher at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and Tel-Aviv University.

However, research by Yairi published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research reveals that all children may be aware of the differences between fluent speech and stuttering as early as age three, and that they often display a social preference for fluent-speaking children by the time they are four years old.

“These findings should provide support to the important idea that we should shift from a ‘hands-off’ approach to more direct therapy techniques, and even more so with school-age children” added Barry Guitar, Ph.D., of University of Vermont.

"Any time parents are concerned about a child's fluency," notes Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation, "they should educate themselves about the disorder and the many ways they can work to prevent stuttering from becoming a chronic problem."

The book, If Your Child Stutters: A Guide for Parents, answers questions that parents and teachers often have. Written by leading experts, it describes the difference between normal disfluencies and stuttering and gives tips for parents of ways to help their child immediately.
The book is available free to all public libraries. If you are interested in checking this book out and your library doesn’t have it, ask them to contact the nonprofit Stuttering Foundation toll-free at 1-800-992-9392; e-mail; or visit

7 Tips for talking with your child

1. Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.
2. Reduce the number of questions you ask your child.
3. Use your facial expressions and other body language to convey to your child that you are listening to the content of her message and not to how she's talking.
4. Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can give your undivided attention to your child.
5. Help all members of the family learn to take turns talking and listening.
6. Observe the way you interact with your child.
7. Above all, convey that you accept your child as he is.

CSHS SADD students national finalists

April 1, 2009

Act Out Loud contest promotes teen traffic safety

CCUSD – Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) at Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek were recently selected as one of the 20 finalists in the Act Out Loud contest, a national competition to promote teen traffic safety. Finalists are selected on their outstanding project proposals.

Their project is named Make It A Habit and they won $1000 stipend and a video camera to implement the project, which is focused on the importance of wearing a seatbelt and making seatbelt wearing a habit in our community (Please visit and click on the 'Track Our Progress' link below the Cactus Shadows SADD icon).

They started their campaign by performing seatbelt counts at school parking lot entrances, and recorded how many students were wearing and not wearing seatbelts. The second seatbelt count will be conducted after prom and upon the completion of our campaign, which ends in early May.

Later this month, a car crash simulator will come to the school during lunch hours.

They will also visit the middle school, Desert Arroyo Middle School, and conduct presentations there. Motivational speakers will be invited to come to the school as well.
Our sponsors as of today include the Arizona State SADD Organization and All-State.
Fionna Feller, president, has appeared on the school video announcements to help kickoff our seatbelt campaign.

Their goal is to spread the seatbelt safety awareness beyond our school perimeter.

The winner of the competition is determined through national voting May 11-22.