Children who stammer

Problem solving


A helpful way of finding solutions to a problem.

Problem solving

Identifying and solving problems is a useful skill for everyone. The better you are at problem solving, the more confident you can become in other areas of your life and we know this can have a positive effect on your fluency.

You may be having a problem with something, not necessarily to do with talking. Perhaps you have tried dealing with it, but it is no good, the problem is still there. Here is a way of finding some new ideas which might help...


The steps

1. Ask some people to help you get some ideas to solve your problem

2. Make sure that the problem is yours, not someone else's; i.e. it has to be something that you can change. Get a big piece of paper and, in the middle, write a sentence starting with "my problem is..."; for example "how to keep my room tidy" or "how to get my homework in on time". 

3. Everyone throws in all their ideas, the more imaginative the better. All suggestions are written on the piece of paper - they are not discussed or judged until later.

4. Then consider each option in turn: "what would happen if I...?" This helps you decide which ideas to leave in and which ones to bin. No one else should comment or advise unless it is really necessary. It's YOUR choice, not everyone will choose the same as you.

5. Chuck out any ideas that you have already tried which didn't work or any which could cause you more problems than they would solve (eg. kicking someone who teased you!). You should end up with five or six choices. 

6. Now number your choices in the order in which you would like to try them. First, second, third, etc. Are there any that you would put together? Make a new list with your choices written out in order. 

7. As soon as you can, try out number one and decide how helpful that was and whether it is worth another go. Or, if that didn't work, try number two and so on

8. Keep your list handy, even when the problem is solved, in case the same thing crops up again and you want a reminder