5 Tips To Use When Your Child Stutters

Health & Medical Blog

When you have a child that stutters, you might not know what you can do to support and help them. Here are some ways you can use when interacting with your stuttering child:

Stay Calm

Your child may become frustrated when they stutter, especially if it happens often. As a result, you may become tense. However, it is important that you be a good role model and remain patient when your child stutters. Attempt to avoid frowning and looking impatient or worried when your child starts speaking. They will take cues from you, and if you become frustrated or irritated, they may retreat and not want to talk that much.

Speak More Slowly

Another way to be a good role model and support your child is to make changes to your own speech. Instead of rapid-fire speech, make a conscious effort to speak more slowly and take a lot of pauses. Your child may mimic you, and as a result of slowly delivering their words, might be able to overcome stuttering sometimes.

Show Interest in the Content of Their Speech

When your child stutters, it can be easy to focus on their stutter. However, that can be upsetting for your child. Instead of always offering suggestions about how to talk, start to show interest in what your child is actually trying to say. You may find that they are more comfortable taking their time if they feel that you are giving them your undivided attention.

Avoid Finishing Sentences

Many parents think they're helping their child by "helping" them finish their sentences. However, this can become irritating for the child, because it can be more challenging to speak when someone is interrupting. Exercise some patience and let them finish their thoughts before jumping in.

Ask Fewer Questions

While it's important to engage your child in conversation and express interest by asking questions, beware of asking too many. Asking too many questions can put pressure on your child to continue to speak for a longer period than they may be comfortable with. When you see your child being slow to answer or providing short answers, move on to another topic or activity.

Now that you have some ideas for interacting with your stuttering child, you can be a more supportive parent. For more help, consult a speech language pathologist in your area who can work with your child to resolve their stutter. To learn more, contact a professional like Felix M. DiPalma, M.S.


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