A PUPIL from Ysgol-y-Bannau has received an award after teaching his classmates about stammering.
Nye Turner, aged 8, presented an assembly to his school in Brecon in which he spoke about his stammer and gave fellow pupils tips on how they could help children like him to overcome it.
Speech therapist Catherine Pape from Brecon Hospital has worked with Nye and his family since he was three years old. After Nye grew more conscious of his stammer when he joined the juniors, Ms Pape decided educating Nye and his fellow pupils was the best way round it.
She said: “Stammers are something that go up and down, and it’s helping the children who are affected to cope with that, and then for others to know how they can help.
“The assembly Nye did was really good, he was really confident, really great. There is such a difference in what he’s like now compared to what he was like when I first met him.”
Nye was awarded his school’s Special Award, a new award established by head teacher Emyr Jones so they could recognise what Nye had achieved.
Nye, who presented the assembly before the New Year, told his fellow pupils about the different types of stammer, which include speech blocks, repetition and stretching words. He said: “There are all sorts of stammers and I told them about how it’s in your head as well. You sort of have a block, so you stop and no sound comes out.
“And there’s one where it’s like ‘and, and, and…’ – you just keep saying the same word. And there’s one where you stretch words out like ‘su-u-u-un-sh-sh-sh-i-i-ne’.
He also spoke about how some people need to count as they speak to help get their words out, either by tapping their hands or their feet.
One in five children will suffer with a stammer at some point in their life, however most of them will not need therapy. Catherine said the difficult part is figuring out which children need help.
Catherine said there are four really good ways to help somebody with a stammer. These are: giving them plenty of time to speak; not being tempted to finish sentences off for them; making comments in conversation rather than asking questions (as questions can add pressure) and to be totally open about the fact you the person you are talking to has a stammer (it’s not something you have to ignore).
Head teacher Mr Jones said: “I’m really proud of what Nye has achieved. We’ve asked him if he will help with other children in future who are struggling with a stammer and also to help future children understand more about stammers. He’s like an ambassador.”
Nye received a plaque to take home and an engraved cup to stay in the school for his contribution.
Nye’s mother, Emily, said: “I was so pleased when the school recognised what it took for Nye to do the assembly. It just goes to show that when people understand something or somebody different, they can help them.”