Friday, January 4, 2013

Fluency Tools

It's Tool Time!  Ok wow...Home Improvement flashback...sorry.  These tools are for your fluency kids.  I love the concept of thinking about fluency enhancing behaviors and strategies as "tools" to help facilitate smooth speech.

Many of the activities I've created in this packet were inspired from Dr. Peter Ramig's article, "Treating the School-Age Child Who Stutters."  I highly recommend looking over this program.  He includes a 12-component treatment plan and provides detailed rationale and research for each component.  It's very convenient for applying that evidence based practice into your therapy sessions.  Plus, you'll get lots more ideas on how to treat fluency and ways to use this packet!

Anyway, check out these Fluency Tools!

Each student can sort their cards onto their speech "toolboxes."

Treatment areas this packet focuses on include:

  • Fluency enhancing behaviors and stuttering modification - Students can learn different strategies that help their speech stay smooth by matching the strategy cards to its definition. 

  • Types of stutters - For my older students, I like to teach them the different types of disfluent patterns.  It helps them to be able to more easily identify them in their own speech.  When we practice "easy stuttering" on purpose, it gives them something specific to try.  They match these to the definitions as well.

  • Relaxation exercises - My grad school professor always had me begin each fluency session with these exercises.  I use this time to teach students about their breathing.  We practice "belly breathing" and using adequate breath support.
  • Pacing strips - One of the components of Dr. Ramig's program is using a slow, controlled speaking rate.  I've found that pacing strips give my students the visual they need to slow their rate.  It's also great for practicing that pausing/chunking strategy.
  • Target practice cards and carrier phrases - Another component is to gain fluency by using increasingly long stimuli.  So, start out with a single word, then gradually increase the length and complexity of the utterance.  
Word level - Kids draw a card and just name the picture on the cards. 

Phrase level - I've included carrier phrase cards (i.e. I have a...) that can be used alongside the pictures to lengthen the utterance.  Expand it even longer by adding a descriptive word (i.e. I have a red apple).

Sentence level - The student gives a description of the pictures.  You can even take turns guessing what they're describing.

  • Contrast drills - Students should learn to develop self-awareness and self-monitoring, and a good way to do that is through contrast drills.  They are given a word list and practice saying the words twice - first hard and tense, then slow and easy.  Discuss what made the word hard or easy to say.
  • Wild cards - Any of the above concepts can be made into a game using these "broken tools" cards.  If they draw one instead of a target card, they have to put all their cards back.
  • Worksheets - Students should also develop a positive attitude toward themselves as a communicator.  There are 2 feelings worksheets - one that uses a picture and one words.  This should help give you an idea on how they feel about themselves.  I've also included a worksheet for students to draw their "speech machine." 

What do y'all think?  You can grab this packet at my TPT store HERE.  How do you work on fluency?


  1. Very Comprehensive! Looks REALLY great! Nice job Lauren!

    1. Thanks Maria! It was something I really needed. :)

  2. Great packet. Looks really good. I need help addressing fluency with a preschooler. He also has some severe articulation errors. Every time we make some progress with fluency, he goes a million step backwards if I even attempt a sound correction/instruction!!! Any ideas??

    1. Girl, fluency with preschoolers is HARD! Most of the ones I've worked with are not even aware that they're stuttering. It sounds like he gets more tense when he tries to motor plan, if he's breaking down during artic instruction. I'd just keep working on slooowwing his speech. Maybe use mirrors and pacing boards, esp when working on artic. Obviously, I'm just throwing ideas out there, since I don't know the student specifically. :/

  3. Comprehensively - Attitude, feelings, cognition and fluency techniques. Notice that techniques are last. I also teach good public speaking skills.


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