If You Think Your Child Stutters

If You Think Your Child Stutters

You should take your child to a speech-language pathologist if he or she…

Shows frustration or embarrassment when speaking.

Others seem impatient with your child’s speech.

Exhibits facial grimaces or bodily tension when attempting to speak.

Stutters with considerable tension and effort throughout the day.

Avoids stuttering by changing word and using extra sounds to get started.

Stutters on more than 10% of his or her speech.

Avoids going to new places for fear of speaking to strangers.

Stutters 6 months or longer.

You can help your child during this time if you…

Allow your child to finish his/her words without interrupting.

Maintain eye contact, stay calm, and try to avoid showing concern or worry.

Model slow, unhurried speech, with many pauses, so your child feels relaxed.

Avoid finishing sentences and filling in words for your child.

Avoid comments such as “slow down,” “take a breath” or “relax.”

Ensure that your child is getting proper rest, diet, and exercise.  

Try not to change your child’s handedness.

Be calm in your discipline and avoid asking your child to “perform” for others.

Ask close ended questions rather than open ended “WH” questions.

Wait a few seconds before responding to your child.

Siblings must never interrupt the child during a stuttering moment.

Reassure your child using comments such as: “Many people get stuck on words…it’s okay,” or “I know it’s hard to talk sometimes; let’s sit down together and talk.”

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