If your child stutters, you are likely wondering what you can do to help. The exact cause of stuttering is unknown, but there are ways to decrease stuttering with speech therapy and psychological support. For some children, stuttering will make an appearance in their life when they are young, but eventually fade away. For others, stuttering sticks around throughout their lives. Here are some therapy tips for elementary-aged children:
Learn About the Respiratory System
When helping your child manage their stutter, start by giving them a lesson about the respiratory system using pictures, models, etc. Teach them how to practice inhaling and exhaling as well as deep and shallow breathing. Explain to them how we speak on exhalations; demonstrate by taking a deep breath in and slowly exhaling while saying a word. Talk about breathing timing during conversations, or when to take a breath.
Practice Smooth Speech
Make practicing speech fun by incorporating smooth, prolonged speech into games you have at home. For example, play “Go Fish” and have plays speak slowly and elongate their words when saying “Do you have a…?” This can be used with any game, whether it be a card game or board game. Simply speak with slow, smooth speech while playing.
Help your child learn techniques to use when they anticipate a stutter (preparatory set), are in the middle of a stutter (pull-out), or have stuttered and are stuck (cancellations). Preparatory set techniques are used when the child anticipates a word to be difficult; you should encourage them to work through the sounds of the word slowly and calmly. The pull-out technique is used when a person begins to stutter; they must say the rest of the word with ease. With cancellations, after stuttering, there is a pause and the word is said a second time.
Types of Stuttering
Help your child understand the different types of stuttering and which ones directly affect them. Help them identify when they stutter and what type of stuttering it was. To help desensitize them from stuttering, practice the different types with them.
SpeechEasy is a combination of proven technology and techniques which can be used to reduce stuttering. Worn in one ear and similar in appearance to a hearing aid, SpeechEasy has helped thousands increase their ability to communicate effectively and confidently. The program that comes with every SpeechEasy is supported by a team of fluency professionals who truly care about your success. Contact us today!