is normal for young children to have difficulties in using language. These
difficulties range from lisping to strange grammatical constructions.
However in some instances a child suffers from stuttering.
of stuttering are unknown.
To distinguish between normal disfluency and stuttering, it is essential
to study the child's speech pattern over time.
What to look
- Hesitation between syllables and words.
- Repetition of sounds or syllables at least three times.
- Blockage of sounds when the child is unable to speak or there is a
pause between sounds.
- Accompanied physical tension and struggling while speaking such as
blinking, shifting the eyes to one side, tensing of the mouth etc.
- Excessive or pronounced breathing or other indications of anxiety
tends to run in families and occurs more often in boys than
girls. Stuttering does not result from emotional trauma anxiety
or abnormal child rearing practices. It is not related to intelligence.
What to do:-
- Ask for help from your pediatrician in finding a speech therapist.
- Provide family support. Don't let friends or relatives make fun of
the child. Don't let thoughts of what your in-laws will feel or your
friends think prevent you from telling them firmly and politely to not
tease the child. If necessary keep the child away from those who laugh
your primary responsibility is to the child who is dependent
upon you for physical and emotional survival.
- Let the
child speak. Don't interrupt or finish words for him and don't let others
rush him either.
- Use a
relatively slow, relaxed style while talking but don't be so slow as
to become unnatural.
to what the child is saying rather than how she is saying it. Respond
to the content and not the stuttering.
- Give appropriate
encouragement while she speaks such as nodding your head. Keep eye contact
when the child while talking.
tell the child to slow down.
frequently correct, criticize or try to change the ways he talks or
- For special
occasions help him by encouraging him to write out and practice what
he wants to say.
- Do not
make concessions or excuse bad behaviour because the child stutters.
it may not be your child that stutters, but a friend or relative of his.
It is as important to teach your child compassion and empathy. Teach him
the same rules for dealing with those who stutter. Make your disapproval
clear of films or TV shows which ridicule those who stutter.
is something some people do, not who they are.