13 December 2012
A small group of students who use the Speech and Language Therapy Service (SALT) because they stammer are being helped by the Jersey Rugby Club to improve their speech by conducting interviews with some of the club’s players.
Hannah Poynton, a senior speech and language therapist who works with the SALT team came up with the idea to ask the club’s players to act as “interviewees” for three of the teenagers:
- Joseph Foley (13years)
- Matthew Hunt (11years)
- Rosando Vinsonand (12years)
Often children and teenagers do not know anyone else who has a communication difficulty and this can be particularly isolating. Having an opportunity to meet other people who stammer can build confidence and help reduce fears, frustrations and anxieties that may be connected with a difficulty communicating.
Hannah said “One of the ways in which we support older children and teenagers who stammer is by group therapy. The aims of these groups are to offer a relaxed environment where stammering can be discussed freely, fluency strategies can be practised, and thoughts and feelings around living with a stammer can be explored."
“The members of this group are keen on sport and it is often a topic of conversation for them. With this in mind and knowing how dedicated the Jersey Rugby Club are in supporting the youth of the Island, we made contact with them'' said Hannah.
"We wanted to set up an opportunity for the fluency group to practise their communication skills by interviewing some of the Island rugby players. The group were also motivated to raise the awareness of stammering and to highlight that there is help available for people who stammer in Jersey. We're very grateful both to the players, and to the teenagers who wanted to do this, for their time."
Currently, there are around 30 children and 10 adults who are accessing the service due to stammering.
SALT operates an open referral system and individuals or parents can refer themselves or request referral from a GP, teacher or health visitor.