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Carol Fenwick, M.Ed., CCC-SP | Article

Is Your Child Stuttering?

9/28/2016
How can you tell if a child is stuttering or having normal repetitions? It is normal for preschool aged children to have some whole word or phrase repetitions as they expand their language ability. However, if a child continues to have sound or word repetitions, blocks (pause in speech) or prolongations (stretched out speech) for over six months to a year, it can be cause for concern.

A speech pathologist can do an evaluation to determine whether the child's repetitions are typical or if the child needs therapy. If your child has been diagnosed with stuttering by a speech pathologist, it is a good idea to follow these recommendations when speaking and listening to your child at home:

Speak a little slower when talking with your child and pause often so he realizes that speech doesn’t have to be rushed.
Refrain from interrupting, especially when child is stuttering..
Encourage talking during fluent times.
Do not correct him by saying "slow down, take a breath, say it right."
Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.
Reduce the number of questions you ask your child.
Use your facial expressions and other body language to convey to your child that you are listening to the content of his message and not how he’s talking.
It is important that your child feels accepted when he speaks, especially when he stutters.

Consult with a licensed and certified speech pathologist if you think your child is stuttering.

--Carol Fenwick,M.Ed., CCC-SP