Being a parent of a child who stutters can be confusing, as it may be something you have never experienced before. Like any other new experience in life, you have to learn as time goes on. If you are a parent of a child who stutters, continue reading:
What is Stuttering?
Stuttering is classified as a speech disorder characterized by interruptions in the natural flow of speech. It is characterized by the repetition of sounds, syllables, or words; prolongation of sounds; and interruptions in speech known as blocks.
What Causes Stuttering?
The exact cause of stuttering is unknown. There is rarely one single contributing reason as to why a person develops a stutter.
Will My Child Grow Out Of It?
Stuttering is typically noticed in children ages 3-6. As they grow and develop speaking skills, they may repeat words or phrases, overusing the word “and” while framing sentences. This is actually a normal process of language development, which is why it may seem that children “outgrow” it. If most of your child’s repetitions are partial words or prolonged sounds, and if they are having difficulty or frustration getting the words out, you may want to contact a professional to help guide your child in speech fluency.
How Can I Help?
Create a positive environment for your child if they are struggling with speech fluency. Reduce the pace in which you speak to your child and pause frequently. Wait a few seconds to respond when speaking with your child. Give your child your undivided attention when they are speaking to you to show them that you are truly listening. Help all members of your family to begin taking turns talking and listening, causing fewer interruptions. Build their confidence by complimenting them with descriptive phrases.
When Should I Seek Professional Help?
You may want to seek professional help if your child’s stuttering has lasted more than 6 months, has increased over time, started after 3.5 years old, or if there is a family history of stuttering. If your child does not reach these criteria but you still have concerns, it is advised to seek assistance as early therapeutic intervention is the most effective.
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!