Five tips to help a stammering child

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African American mother talking with her daughter.

Stammering or stuttering is a speech disorder that affects a person’s fluency and flow of speech. Most of the time, people who stammer experience involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words, or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person is unable to produce sounds.

Stammering is common among young children as a normal part of learning to speak. But sometimes, stuttering is a chronic condition that persists into adulthood.

WHAT CAUSES OF STAMMERING

The following factors can be one of the reasons your child/you are stammering;

  • Genetics

study claims stammering runs in the family — meaning it can be inherited. It has been proven that 60% of all people who stammer have a close family member who does.

  • Neurological factors

People who stammer seem to have problems with the way language is transmitted through the brain. Also, there are abnormalities in their speech motor control, such as timing, sensory.

HOW CAN I HELP?

As a parent, there are ways you can help your child to talk more smoothly. Although, there is no cure for stammering, with these tips they can get better.

  • Talk slower

Talk calmly and slowly with the child. If you noticed, you will see that they stammer more when they are angry or attempt to speak faster. By reducing their talking pace, they will stammer less.

  • Be a good listener

When your child is talking, listen and look at them positively. Always have face-to-face conversations with them, make it known to them you’re listening. If they notice you always have time to listen to them, they won’t have to rush their speech which will further reduce how they stammer.

  • Minimize questioning and interruptions

Ask fewer questions when they are talking. When you ask too many questions when they are talking, they feel pressured to answer all of the questions which will make them stammer more.

  • Acknowledge their condition and accept them

Let your child know you understand their condition and make them feel comfortable with it. Don’t show impatience, negativity, or irritation when they speak rather make encouraging comments.

The way you treat your stammering child will also set a pace for people around them.

  • Keep the environment calm

Avoid a noisy and rushed environment. Make the environment calm, quiet, and peaceful so they won’t feel the need to talk first in order to get your attention. A calm environment will reduce the pressure on their speech fluency.