Stuttering - Topic Overview
How is it treated?
Treatment for stuttering often includes counseling for the parents and speech therapy for the child. The main goal of treatment is to help your child learn to speak as smoothly as possible.
Parent counseling can help you understand how speech
develops and teach you how to relate to your child in a positive way. You'll also learn how to help your child at home by using proper eye contact and body
language when your child is trying to talk to you.
Speech therapy is important in some cases, especially if your child's stuttering lasts, gets worse,
or is severe. Working with a speech therapist can help your child master certain speech and language skills and feel better about his or her ability to speak.
Remember that when stuttering begins in early
childhood, it tends to go away on its own. In these cases, parents may just need reassurance and guidance about how to be most helpful.
Adults or teens who stutter may find both speech therapy and counseling helpful. Counseling can help you
manage anxiety, low self-esteem, and other problems that can make stuttering
When stuttering is caused by brain damage, such as after a
head injury, treatment may include
speech therapy, physical rehabilitation, medicines, and treatments for the
brain damage itself.
How can parents help a child who stutters?
By responding in a supportive and caring way, you can help your child avoid the social and emotional problems that sometimes result from stuttering.
- Speak slowly and calmly, and pause often. Use short, simple sentences.
- Spend some quiet, uninterrupted time with your child each day. Let your child guide what the two of you do and talk about during these times. Showing that you enjoy this time together can help build your child's confidence.
- Be polite when your child speaks. Don't criticize, interrupt, or ask too many questions. Give your child the time and attention he or she needs to express thoughts and ideas.
- Use positive facial expressions and body language when your child is talking. Show that you are focused on the message rather than how he or she talks.
- Let your child know that you accept him or her no matter what.