When you have a child who stutters, are a teacher of a student who stutters, etc., you may wonder how best to support them. Here are a few tips recommended by the National Stuttering Association:

Listen to Your Child

Listen to the message your child is trying to get across rather than their stuttering. Refrain from finishing their sentences or filling in words. Do not give advice like “slow down” or “relax.” Let them know that what they have to say is more important than how they say it. 

Get Involved

Get involved with your child’s stuttering journey by learning how they are coping with their stuttering. Ask about their experiences, whether they be positive or negative. You, as a parent, can even learn from the things your child has experienced. Your child will likely face many challenges when it comes to stuttering, but knowing that you are there to support them will give them the encouragement they need to overcome those challenges.

Understand Your Role

Teens who stutter will still need their parents, but their needs will change as they get older. Decisions regarding their speech, such as whether or how they manage it, will be up to them. Your role may change to simply giving advice and opinion rather than expecting them to work on their speech on your time. Your support will help create an atmosphere of trust and responsibility.

Decrease Time Pressure

Time pressure is the feeling of having to act or speak quickly, and too much of it can make things difficult. Reduce time pressure for your child at home by encouraging turn-taking and limiting interruptions. Allow pauses and silence during conversation.

Accept the Stutter

Stuttering does not have to be a limitation. The first step in overcoming stuttering is acceptance. Show your child that stuttering is just a small part of who they are and that you accept them regardless of how fluently they speak.

Talk About It

As long as your child is comfortable with it, talk with them openly about stuttering. This will help create an atmosphere of sharing and trust, letting them know that they can come to you with how they feel about stuttering. 


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