Tips for Families
For a family dealing with stuttering, there is no greater fear than the unknown. We offer these tips to help you help your child overcome stuttering:
- Avoid offering suggestions to "fix" your child's stuttering. A natural impulse is to tell your child to slow down, relax or take a deep breath before speaking. Although these suggestions sometimes help, they often increase your child's stuttering, frustration and anxiety.
- Listen attentively to what your child is saying, not how he is speaking. Use natural facial expressions, eye contact and other body language to provide positive feedback on the content of your child's speech.
- Adopt a relatively slow rate of speech with frequent pauses. Give your child extra time to speak by pausing for several seconds before responding. Encourage all family members to use this slower, more relaxed rate.
- Reduce interruptions and competition for speaking by promoting turn-taking and listening skills for all family members.
- Promote open and honest talk about stuttering. Use words like "bumpy speech" or "getting stuck" to explore your child's feelings about stuttering.
- If you have any concerns about your child's speech, contact a speech-language pathologist who specializes in stuttering to discuss your fears.
Learn more about stuttering and find specialists in your area