Having a child who stutters isn’t always easy. They can experience bullying in school, people talking over them, and not being taken seriously. It also impacts a child’s confidence and ability to do well in the classroom. It’s your responsibility to help them overcome or learn to deal with this stutter. This will be a learning experience for both you and your child, but it will be worth it in the end. Children with a stutter are just like other children; they like to talk about things they are interested in a relaxed, judgement-free environment. Here are some tips about how to help stuttering in your child.
Don’t interrupt them
We all hate being interrupted, and your stuttering child is no exception. Interrupting someone can cause them to become angry and discouraged. This is something you want to avoid when helping your child overcome a stutter. Instead of interrupting, you should let them finish what they were trying to say, and then bring up your comment after they are finished. A child with a stutter might take a little more time to say something, but it’s important that they feel heard and respected.
Talk with them as often as possible
Just like everything else, talking takes practice. Most kids don’t just start talking in fluent sentences one day, they start with words like “dada,” and “momma.” This should also be expected from a child who stutters. The more they talk, the more fluent their speech becomes. Have them practice talking slowly, pronouncing each syllable in the words they are trying to say. Having them do this will help their brains focus on each part of the word as they are speaking, and eventually, they will be able to speak at a normal speed and pronounce words correctly.
Ask them to tell you about things they are knowledgeable about
Topics that you know a lot about are topics you want to talk about. Same with kids! If your stuttering child likes to talk about dinosaurs, ask them questions about dinosaurs. Even if you already know the answers, your child will feel more confident and comfortable when they talk about something that they like and know a lot about already. You can show that you are listening to them by nodding your head, making eye contact, and turning your body towards them.
Create a judgement-free and relaxed environment
If your child feels judged, they will feel uncomfortable and close themselves off. This means that they will avoid doing things or saying things that they see as wrong or unacceptable. They will try to blend into the background and only do things that will keep them out of the spotlight. Creating a judgement-free environment will allow them to open up more and be themselves. They will feel more comfortable to speak and open up.
Overall, having patience is one of the most important ways of how to help stuttering. Your child can’t help their stutter, so don’t get frustrated with them if they can’t get out a word or phrase. Instead, have them pause, think about what they want to say, and try it again. If they slow down and think about what they’re trying to say, their brain has more time to process and tell their voices how to say what they want to say. Never rush a child who is trying to speak with a stutter. It will discourage them once they see your frustration with them.
Talk to them about a speech fluency device
If your child is still having trouble with stuttering, talking with your child about a speech fluency device is a step you may want to take. A speech fluency device is a device that helps minimize stuttering. There are many different kinds of devices, all with different ways of functioning and fitting. Companies like SpeechEasy create devices to help with stuttering by altering sounds that go through the device so that you hear your voice at a slight time delay and at a different pitch.