As your child advances in their toddler stage they are becoming increasingly verbal. You may notice they can stumble on their words or have trouble saying certain ones. This can be concerning, especially if this stutter is appearing out of the blue. About 75% of children who experience stuttering in their early stages outgrow it by late childhood.
Between the ages of two and five, many children can experience normal interruptions known as developmental disfluencies in their speech. As their language skills are developing they can experience an incoordination of their muscles as they are learning to form more complex sentences. For many children this will go away on its own, but in other cases it can persist and turn into a more obvious case of stuttering. It can become unsettling and confusing for you as a parent, so here are some ways to tell if it is a phase or something you should be more concerned about.
Examples of Disfluencies
- Interjections (“um”, “like”)
- Hesitations between words
- Revisions (“The dog is…the dogs are playing”)
- Repetition of phrases (“But I don’t. But I don’t want to”)
Examples of Stuttering
- Repetition of words (“I I I…I want that”)
- Repetition of sounds (“M-my”)
- Sound prolongations
- Vocal blocks in which no sounds come out
Reactions to Stuttering
When it comes to stuttering, there are emotional reactions that come along with it. These can also be an indicator if your child needs to get additional help.
- Physical struggle or frustration when speaking
- Embarrassment when talking
- Avoidance behaviors (jerking, excessive blinking, head nodding)
How Can SpeechEasy Help?
While some children will be able to recover from stuttering, others may not. It can be challenging to know what is happening with your child, but there are some things you can look to, to find an answer. Look into your family history, how old your child was when the stutter appeared and how long they’ve had it. To get an exact answer it is important to bring your child to a Speech Language Pathologist. Our team at Speech Easy are all state licensed, ASHA certified SLP’s who can help explain what is going on with your child. We can give you tips on how to work on their speech at home, and if need be, we can fit them with the right anti-stuttering device when they are old enough. Get some peace of mind and find the answers you are looking for at SpeechEasy.