Parents are very much part of the partnership supporting the child. Decisions about speech and language therapy will be discussed with them and hopefully they will be pleased to involve the teacher in supporting this.
In the first video clip, this parent explains that the support that the therapist gave her son's teacher enabled the school to develop strategies for working with him successfully.
In the second clip, another parent reflects that she could have sought more partnership with the school.
In some schools children who stammer do currently have an Individual Education Plan and parents and teachers meet regularly with the therapist to monitor and amend this. However, school practice does vary.
Any school decision to provide support for the child should be discussed with the parents, whether it is informal school provision or more formally through the 'Additional Support for Learning Act'. This came into force in late 2005 but many education authorities were phasing it in over a two-year period to enable a smooth changeover from previous arrangements.
This Act gives statutory force to present good practice in many schools and provides a 'Code of Practice' for its implementation. Parents may request an assessment of their child and access a mediation service when they disagree with the help being given.
The recent review of the working of the act strengthened the right of parents to seek this support for their child, and also stressed that whenever appropriate the child should be involved in any negotiation about his support.
For children who stammer the act is most helpful as they may not previously have received the support that they needed because they would usually not have a 'Record of Needs', unless the stammer was associated with other more complex learning difficulties. 'Additional Support Needs' can arise from any factor that causes a barrier to learning, and stammering may have that effect.
The 'Co-ordinated Support Plan' will replace the 'Record of Needs' for children with more complex difficulties.
Parents should be encouraged to express early concerns to the teacher and equally should be available to discuss any problems that the school may identify.
A joint collaborative approach gives consistency to support for the child and the management of the stammer.