I received a question about stuttering last week. When is it considered a normal part of development versus when is it worrisome?
Some children may develop a disruption of their speech and/or speech pattern. Most kids will grow out of this.
Who is more at risk for stuttering?
Those with a family history of stuttering
Stuttering that starts after age 3.5
Stuttering lasting longer than six months
Anxiety related to speaking situations due to stuttering
An increase in stuttering
Additional movements along with stuttering (i.e., hand-flapping, twitching, tics, eye blinking, etc.)
Repetitive speech sounds/syllables
Noticeably struggling to speak
What should I do?
First, speak with your child’s provider. He/she may refer your child to a Speech Language Pathologist.
DO NO INTERRUPT. Try not to interrupt your little one or finish his/her sentence.
SOMETIMES YOUR WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT AREN’T HELPFUL. It will be tempting, but try not to say, “Slow down” or “Take a deep breath.”
DO NOT PUNISH OR SCOLD FOR NOT “SPEAKING PROPERLY”. Just don’t. Nuff said?