What if your child is talking fine, but is stuttering? What can you do?
- Listen to what is said and not how your child says something.
- Talk slower and pause often like Mr. Rogers.
- Give your child opportunities to speak without any competition from others (i.e. siblings).
- Decrease the pressure of talking on your child.
- Give your child more time for talking. After you say something pause longer.
- Repeat or rephrase what your child said to make sure you understood.
- Realize that certain situations impact on how much your child stutters such as new situations or subjects, more difficult language, competition to speak, fighting, tiredness, excitement, talking to new people, and pressure to talk quicker.
- When your child stutters change open ended questions to questions that can be answered in just one word.
- Don’t tell your child to speak differently (i.e. relax, take your time, slow down, or think before you talk).
- Don’t call attention to your child’s talking.
- Don’t put your child in a situation where they would have to speak in front a group of people.
- Don’t look worried or troubled when your child stutters.
- Don’t label your child or call your child a stutterer.
- Don’t interupt your child or criticize him.
- Don’t complete your child’s statements for him.
Many children who are developing normally may go through a period where their speech is not fluent. This usually happens between age 2 and 5. A child is considered to have a normal stuttering period if:
- Less than 9% of the words are stuttered
- The stutterings are mostly
- Whole word repetitions (i.e. “Did…did…did he go?)
- Phrase repetitions (i.e. “I want a…I want a dog.”)
- Revisions (i.e. “I lost my…where’s Daddy going?)
If your child is doing any of the following call a speech therapist to set up an evaluation:
- Sound prolongations (i.e. “baaaaaaaaaby” or “mmmmmmmmmmmmmom”)
- Part-word repetitions in more than 2% of words (i.e. “muh-muh-milk”)
- Hesitations longer than 2 seconds in the normal flow of speech
- Any noticeable tension in the voice, body movements, eye blinks, or lip or jaw tremors.
- Unusual changes in loudness or pitch
- A child under pressure to speak properly.
- A child showing frustration about the stuttering.
- Changes in stuttering based on speaking situations or activities.