Find out about therapies and courses available for children and teenagers who stammer.
Has your child started stammering (also know as stuttering)? Or have they been stammering for a while? Before reading on, take a look at Help For Parents. It has things you can do at home to support them.
If your child is distressed, or if you're still worried, there are lots of ways you can get help. We've got details of each one below.
Please note: approaches below might use language that some people may object to. For instance "We can help overcome stammering". Depending on your view of stammering, discretion is advised. See 'Things to watch out for' below.
ONE-TO-ONE SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY
You can get stammering therapy for children and teenagers for free through the NHS. This is usually one-to-one therapy with a qualified speech & language therapist.
In most places you can contact services yourself to make an appointment. Search search for 'Child NHS stammering therapy (+ your local town/city)' to get contact details. Or, we can help you with this. Phone our helpline on 0808 802 0002 or start a webchat.
Another way is to ask your child's doctor, nursery/school or health visitor to refer you. Some services only accept referrals via your child's school. If so, contact the school's Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).
You might have to wait quite a while for an appointment. If you'd like to find out what therapy involves, see our Child & Teen Options Explained page.
Long waiting list? No service where you live?
If there's a long waiting list, or if there isn't a service in your area, there are other options, listed below. They include private therapy, therapy courses, or courses run by people who stammer.
The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering has a free Assessment Clinic. This an opportunity for you to speak to a therapist and get tailored advice for 2- to 18-year-olds who stammer. See The Michael Palin Centre website for details. Or phone them on 0203 316 8100. They offer therapy too but you need to pay for that.
Private speech & language therapy is another option, but it's not free.
Find a qualified private therapist near you. Search on the Association for Speech & Language Therapists in Independent Practice website. Or you can phone them on 0203 002 3704. Make sure to ask any therapists if they have worked with children who stammer before.
Sessions with a private therapist vary but may range between £70 and £125. This depends on the therapist's experience, what's included, or on regional variation. The first session is likely to be more expensive. This is because they'll spend extra time gathering information.
SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY GROUPS & COURSES
City University — Stammering Intensive Courses (ages 8+)
The Roberta Williams Speech & Language Therapy Centre, based at City University in London, has courses for ages 8 to 18. The 5-day courses, during school holidays, focus on helping young people to:
- reduce negative feelings connected to stammering
- develop communication skills
- build confidence in social situations and giving presentations.
Do I have to pay? Yes. See the City University website for course details and costs.
Other Information: City University recommends that your child is already being supported by a therapist. This is so that the therapist can help with follow up support after the course. But you can still refer yourself if they are not seeing a therapist.
Read more about City University courses.
The Fluency Trust (ages 10-17)
The Fluency Trust, based in Swindon, runs residential therapy courses for ages 10 to 17. These courses combine intensive speech therapy with outdoor activities. Things like climbing, abseiling, kayaking and surfing are included. Its courses aim to help young people to:
- develop confidence in communicating
- feel more positive about speaking and less bothered about stammering
- develop strategies so they can speak more easily
- build resilience so they can manage challenging situations
- develop flexible thinking skills.
Do I have to pay? Courses are free for children who live in Swindon. If you live outside of Swindon, it should be funded by your local NHS therapy provider. Speak to your GP about it. If that isn't available, you can fund yourself or explore local funding organisations. See The Fluency Trust website for full details.
Read more about The Fluency Trust.
Talking Out (ages 13-17)
Talking Out run free online and in-person courses for teenagers who stammer. Their online courses combine speech & language therapy, individual challenges, group and one-to-one work. They also have a residential 5-day intensive course based in Yorkshire. This combines therapy with outdoor activities like rock climbing, mountain biking and canoeing.
Its courses aim to help teenagers develop:
- confidence in communicating
- a more positive attitude to speaking
- less sensitivity to stammering
- problem solving and self-help skills
- positive thinking skills
- a peer support network.
Do I have to pay? No, courses are free. Places are charitably-funded by Action for Stammering Children. Visit the Talking Out website for course details.
Contact: email email@example.com or phone 07763 719272.
Below is an alternative option to speech & language therapy. These are courses run by people who have been on them and found them helpful, rather than therapists.
The Starfish Project (ages 11-16)
The Starfish Project runs 3-day courses in Eastbourne for people who stammer. One of the courses is for young people aged 11 to 16, accompanied by a parent. It supports people who stammer by teaching and practising a speech technique. It combines this with:
- reducing avoidance
- increasing confidence
- developing a positive attitude towards stammering.
See Child & Teen Options Explained for details about techniques taught on this course.
Do I have to Pay? Yes. Their costs include free lifetime support and refresher courses. Visit The Starfish Project website for course details and costs.
Contact: email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01825 872038.
Read more about The Starfish Project.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR
Above are the main stammering therapies and courses for children and teenagers in the UK. Some might use language that could be seen as biased and non-neutral. For example, they might refer to stammering as an affliction or misfortune. Some people argue that describing stammering in this way adds to the stigma, while others don't.
You might come across other approaches online that aren't on our list. To safeguard against untested or unqualified providers, we recommend choosing one which:
- offers realistic expectations of change and NOT an offer of a cure or a way of 'stopping' stammering
- provides clear and unambiguous information about what it does and how much it costs. Also, how long it is and the commitment needed
- recognises the need to accept one’s stammer at some level, to help speech and/or a change in attitude
- is nationally recognised as supporting people who stammer to communicate confidently. We judge this based on an organisation's track record, a considerable body of independent user reviews and good feedback.
GETTING YOUR SERVICE LISTED
If you have a service or course you'd like us to include here, see How To Get Your Service Listed.
Courses, therapy providers and tools listed here are reviewed intermittently by STAMMA's Service Panel. Inclusion on the website does not indicate endorsement by STAMMA. It simply indicates that those listed have met the basic criteria for inclusion. Details of courses and therapy is for information purposes only. This information is not advice and should not be treated as such.
Through this page you can link to other websites that are not controlled by STAMMA. We bear no responsibility for the accuracy, content or nature of these sites. This includes any language used to describe or refer to stammering.