3 Mistakes to Avoid if Your Child is Stuttering

Is your child repeating sounds, words or phrases?  Are they stretching out words or getting stuck before talking? 

Around 12% of children begin to stutter by 4 years of age.  Children who begin to stutter in their preschool years need therapy immediately to prevent its negative impacts and reduce the likelihood of them stuttering for life

If left without treatment your child’s stuttering can get worse or be with them for life.  The impact of stuttering on a child’s life is varied however it’s absolutely certain that it will interfere with their ability to communicate.  This can lead to your child feeling embarrassed to speak in front of others, they can become frustrated with it and they may develop social anxiety which significantly affects their interact and build relationships with people.  This social anxiety can begin to emerge by just seven years of age.

With the right treatment stuttering can be eliminated.  Your child can become an excellent communicator who can confidently answer questions in class, stand up and give a speech and build strong relationships with those around them. There are also mistakes you can make that may lead to your child’s stuttering getting worse. It’s so important to avoid making these mistakes if your child is stuttering.

So, if you want to get your child’s speech stutter-free here are 3 mistakes to avoid:

       1. Finishing their sentences

Maybe it’s hard to watch your child struggle to talk or maybe you’re in a hurry. Either way, it can be very tempting when your child is struggling to get their words out to try to help them by finishing their sentence for them. Whilst your intentions are good, doing this can lead to frustration and a drop in their confidence.

       2. Telling them to slow down and take a breath

This is a really common mistake we see parents make. Again, we know you mean well by it however it doesn’t help your child talk smoothly at all. Rather than telling them this just give them the time they need to say their sentence and wait patiently until they’ve finished.

         3. Not seeking professional help immediately

There used to be a recommendation that you could wait 6-12 months before seeking help from a Speech Pathologist for your child’s stutter. This has changed. It is now recommended that you get help as soon as your child begins to stutter. Waiting can put your child at risk of becoming frustrated, losing confidence or having a stutter for life.

So, if your child is stuttering it’s time to avoid these mistakes and get professional help.  Our Speech Pathologists see children who stutter every day.  We can implement treatment to eliminate stuttering and build your child’s confidence in their communication.  Simply send us an email or call us on (02) 9653 9955.