What We Do

ASC is dedicated to transforming the lives of children and young people who stammer.

What We Do

Action for Stammering Children (ASC) commissions the delivery of specialist services that transform the lives of children and young people who stammer.

ASC is the Charity behind the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children in London. This internationally recognised Centre runs the UK's largest specialist service exclusively dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of children who stammer.

ASC also supported the Stammering Support Centre in Leeds, the specialist Centre for the North of England.  From April 2015, due to changes to funding streams, the Stammering Support Centre is no longer able to accept referrals from adults and children outside the Leeds area.  The service will remain for those who live in Leeds or registered with a Leeds GP.

We continue to work to reach as many children who stammer across the UK.

Stammering is a severe communication disability which impairs social, emotional and educational development. Estimates suggest that 5% of children will stammer at some point and approximately 1% continue to stammer into adulthood. Stammering is 3 to 4 times more common in boys than in girls. While stammering is outwardly characterised by repetitions, prolongations and blocking of sounds, these core behaviours can be accompanied by feelings of isolation, frustration and embarrassment.

Stammering crosses all races, cultures, religions and social groupings, conceals intellectual ability, affects educational choices and achievement, results in impaired communication skills and frequently becomes a focus for teasing and bullying. In severe cases, it may play a significant part in a young person's ability to achieve their potential and to make a full contribution to society as an adult.

At the core of our work is the specialist assessment service for any child or young person in the UK, aged 2-18, who stammers. Both parents attend with their child where possible, so that the stammering problem can be fully assessed in the context of each individual family. Families are seen by two specialist therapists who spend a morning or afternoon with the child and their parents during which they can identify and fully understand the factors underlying the child's stammer.

The assessment has been developed and refined over the last 20 years, is the cornerstone of each child's subsequent therapy and greatly increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.

As well as providing specialist assessments and therapy, the charity also funds training of Speech and Language Therapists and appropriate research. The training increases the understanding, skills and confidence of generalist Speech and Language Therapists to be able to work with a child who stammers. The research programme aims to provide evidence of the efficacy of the work we do.