Although we all look forward to the summer, June through August can bring with it some changes that impact the fluency of a person who stutters. Changes in routine, taking a prolonged break from speech therapy, and the stresses of a new environment and people (such as a new summer camp group) can act as triggers. However, these “changes” are learning experiences (both for the child who stutters and their parent) in how to cope with both easy and hard speech days!

Don’t shy away from these new experiences, just go into them prepared!

Below is an example of an assignment I give to clients who are taking a break from speech therapy over the summer months. Going into each week with a speech challenge, no matter how small it may seem, is essential to easing into the changes of summer and maintaining good speech habits! I usually encourage students to email me each week with a speech update and in doing so they begin to take ownership of their speech work. Even if you’re not a student of mine, go ahead, email me how you’re doing each week!

July 1-7: Write down 3 ways in which you stutter (i.e. repeat the first sound, repeat the whole word, etc.) and 3 ways/places you are tense (i.e. blink eyes, open jaw, etc).

July 8-14: Catch your “bumps!” Use your counter during at least two conversations this week and see how many bumps you can catch. Remember, if you can catch them, you can change them!

July 15-21: Use a cancellation or pull out to “stretch” out of your bumps! Aim for 5-10 over the week. Remember to think about where you are tense and how your mouth has to change to get to the next sound of the word!

July 22-28: Do “fake” stutters and smooth them out (i.e. su-su-ssssssummer). Do at least 10 of these over the week.

July 29-Aug 4: Practice “Pausing” once while reading out loud and once in conversation (pause after every 1-3 words).

Aug 5- 11: Identify one way in which you are proud of your speech so far this summer and one thing you feel you need work on!

Aug 12- 18: Catch your bumps during at least 2 conversations using your counter and see if you can use a cancellation or pullout after you catch it!