If you have a child that struggles with a stutter, you may find yourself wondering what you can or should do to help support your child as well as to help them manage and overcome their stutter. There are numerous steps you can take, both small and large to help your child deal with this speech issue. Get to know some of the ways that you can help your child manage their condition. Then, you can start working with them on their stutter right away.
Slow Down When You Speak to Your Child
One of the reasons that children stutter can be that they are trying to rush through their speech. This may be an attempt to keep up with you or others around them who might talk faster than they are currently able to speak. Because of this, slowing down when you speak to your child (or around your child) can help them to better manage their stutter.
They may feel less rushed or less inclined to try to rush through things when other people are speaking at a slower speed. It helps to remind your child to slow down their speech.
Do Not Interrupt Them When They Are Speaking
When your child is trying to communicate with you, you have to remember to be patient. It can be easy to want to speed things along by interjecting or interrupting with what you think they are trying to say, but this can actually be detrimental to your child in the long run. They may become discouraged from trying to communicate or may expect people to finish their thoughts and sentences for them, stunting their communication development.
It is best to just let them get through what they are trying to say to you in their own time and at their own pace. This goes along with slowing down your speech in that it helps to remind your child that they do not have to rush to hold your attention and that you will be listening to them no matter how long it takes to get the words out.
Do Take Them to a Speech-Language Specialist
One of the best things you can do for your child with a stutter is to take them to a speech-language specialist, also known as a speech-language pathologist. These are experts in the development of language and speech. They can assess your child's stutter and its severity. The specialist can also work to develop a treatment plan (such as speech therapy) to help your child overcome and learn to better manage their stutter.
Now that you know some of the things you should do if your child has a stutter, you can be sure you are taking the best possible care of them going forward.
For more information on speech therapy and other ways you can help your child, reach out to a local speech professional.