A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Stuttering

Fluency

Hearing your child stumble over sounds or pause unexpectedly in their speech can be a heart-wrenching experience. As a parent, your natural instinct is to want to fix things, and the concern about stuttering is entirely understandable. But before you jump to conclusions, take a deep breath and know this: you’re not alone. Stuttering is a common occurrence in childhood, affecting up to 8% of children at some point. And in most cases, it’s temporary and resolves on its own.

Here’s what you need to know about childhood stuttering:

  • It’s normal: It’s important to remember that stuttering is a normal part of speech development for many children. As their brains and language skills rapidly expand, sometimes their mouths can’t quite keep up.
  • Early intervention is key: While most children outgrow stuttering, in some cases, it can persist. If you’re concerned about your child’s stuttering, especially if it’s persistent or causing them emotional distress, early intervention is key. A speech-language pathologist can evaluate your child and, if necessary, develop a personalized therapy plan.
  • Focus on communication, not fluency: Remember, the goal is not just to eliminate stuttering, but to foster confident and effective communication. Focus on creating a relaxed and supportive environment where your child feels comfortable expressing themselves, stutter or no stutter.
  • Be a model of calm and patience: Your child may feel frustrated or embarrassed by their stuttering. Be patient and understanding, avoid correcting or interrupting them, and give them the time and space they need to find their words.
  • Seek support: Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Joining a support group for parents of children who stutter can be a valuable source of understanding, empathy, and practical advice.
  • A developmental stutter usually occurs in children from 3-6 years of age. If it lasts more than 6 months, it could be time to seek out help from an speech-language pathologist.

Above all, remember:

  • Your child is not defined by their stutter. They are a bright, individual child with so much to offer the world. Focus on their strengths and encourage their talents.
  • Believe in your child’s potential. With your support and the right guidance, your child can learn to communicate effectively and confidently, stutter or no stutter.

If your child has experiences stuttering, please contact us to schedule an appointment. 281-766-3831