Stuttering also known as dysfluency, it is a communication difficulty that affects the fluency and flow of speech.
It is common for many children of all ages to experience dysfluencies. This does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. However, frequent disfluencies can result in difficulties with communication and can be frustrating and upsetting for the person communicating as well as for the family.
Stuttering may include repetitions of whole words, parts of words and initial letters of words and may also involve stretching of sounds. Sometimes speech may become blocked.
The causes of stuttering are complex and varied.
In some cases, stuttering may begin or reoccur in older children. There are many factors that can contribute to a child’s fluency issues such as confidence when speaking or even anxiety when communicating.
Here are a few guidelines that might help when communicating with your child who stutters:
- Show your child that you are interested in what he says, not how he says it. Try to maintain natural eye contact when he is having difficulty talking.
- Reduce the number of questions you ask. Always give your child plenty of time to answer one question before asking another. This way, he is less likely to feel under pressure. Keep your sentences short and simple, and comment on what your child has said, this will let him know that you are listening.
- Take turns to talk so that everyone in the family can speak without being interrupted. This will reduce the time that your child is interrupted, or that he interrupts others.
Does your child stutter or have difficulties with fluency? Leave us a message below and we’ll contact you to make an appointment for an evaluation.