What You Should Know About
Stuttering In Toddlers
Stuttering in toddlers may not be a cause for concern. You may actually think your child is stuttering and they’re not. One of the most difficult things for toddlers is trying to master communication skills, which can sometimes lead to stuttering or stammering. If you're concerned that your toddler might be developing a stutter here are some tips to help you choose a course of action.
You have to determine whether or not your child truly is stuttering. Many toddlers repeat words, it's as if their minds are working so quickly that their mouths can't quite keep up. This is exactly what's happening. This is quite normal, and will most likely work itself out by the time your child reaches five years of age.
Stuttering is more of a repetition of sounds. Another sign of stuttering is a prolonged first sound in a word. I have compiled a list of some tips to look out for. As with everything if you are concerned about stuttering in your toddler feel free to contact your pediatrician or a speech pathologist. You definitely want to find out what is going on sooner rather than later.
Things Parents Can Do To Help The Child Who Stutters:
- Listen patiently to what the child says, not how it is said. Respond to the message rather than the stuttering.
- Allow your child to complete her thoughts without interrupting.
- Keep natural eye contact while your child is talking.
- Avoid filling in or speaking your child's thoughts or ideas. Let the words be their own.
- After your child speaks, repeat slowly and unhurriedly, using some of the same words. For example, if she says, "I s-s-see the d-d-doggy." You reply in an easy and relaxed way, "oh yes, you see the doggy. He's cute."
- Wait a second or so before responding to your child. This helps to calm and slow things down and should help with their speech.
What To Do If You Suspect Stuttering In Toddlers:
- Talk to your pediatrician. Your pediatrician can make a diagnosis in regards to your toddler's speech problems. If the doctor believes that your toddler is indeed struggling with stuttering, then he or she will refer you to a speech pathologist to help treat the problem.
- Deal with the problem immediately. While many speech problems can be outgrown, treatment for stuttering in toddlers is beneficial if the problem is detected early. This is crucial parents. The moment you detect the problem, seek medical advice.
- Stress. Stuttering is often accompanied by stress, which toddlers have a difficult time dealing with. The frustration of being unable to express their emotions can cause the stuttering to get even worse. Signs of stress include mood swings, clenched fists, clenched jaw, and a hesitancy to speak even when spoken to directly.
- Try not to get frustrated with your child. Allow your toddler the time they need to express themselves. Don't rush them through their sentences. Try and keep a calm and open expression and give them plenty of time to finish what they need to say. If they feel that you're upset with them for the way they speak, children will become more and more reluctant to even try.
- Speech Therapy. If speech therapy is recommended for your toddler, you can expect the pathologist to ask and your child will be tested for speech problems. After that, the pathologist will work with you to come up with programs and exercises that you can do with your child to help improve the stuttering.
We have all known children who have stuttered. The good news is that most kids do get better. Speech therapy is very effective and does work well for stuttering in toddlers. There is hope parents so don’t get too upset. It is important to talk to your doctor and come up with the correct solutions.
For additional information concerning Toddler Stuttering, you may contact:
The Stuttering Foundation of America
P.O. Box 11749
Memphis, TN 38111-0749
* I am not a Doctor or Licensed Professional in the field of stuttering in toddlers. I am a stay at home Mom passing on tips, advice and information that are based on my opinions. Always remember to consult your pediatrician with serious questions concerning your child and their speech development.*
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