3 ways to help your child if they stammer

Most children will stammer at one stage or another. It can happen when they’re especially excited, or anxious about a situation. But how can you tell if it’s just a phase or something that you need to look into further? And when should a Speech and Language Therapist get involved?

You should consider bringing your child to a Speech and Language Therapist if your child displays the following behaviour:

The signs
  • The child’s stammering has lasted for more than six months
  • It continues after the child is five years old
  • Stammering is accompanied by muscle tension in the face and upper body
  • The voice rises in pitch with repetitions
  • It interferes with the child’s schoolwork
  • The child has a fear of places and situations

Study shows the effect of ‘baby talk’ on baby’s speech development – it’s not bad news!

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What should I do if I notice my child stammering?
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Do not finish their sentences for them
  • Convey that you are listening to what is being said, not how it is being said
  • Model slow, relaxed speech
Ways to encourage your child to speak
  • Say that it is ok to stammer
  • Try to make it clear that stammering does not bother you
  • Provide opportunities to talk
  • Praise your child for talking
Where can I get help?

There are many resources available to help you deal with any concerns you might have about your child’s speech. Those listed below are worth a visit/read.

Irish Stammering Association

Action for Stammering Children

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Originally posted 2014-07-31 15:12:34.