I received a link to information about helping children who stutter remain confident communicators. It is called 8 Tips To Assist Your Child From Stuttering & Stammering. In part, it reads:
1. Parents have to provide a supportive condition for the child. This means being patient with them and giving them a proper forum to speak their minds even if they do not say the words correctly. That may be hard given that we can talk normally but don't you think you also had that problem while you were growing up?
2. You also have to setup an environment where everyone takes turn when they are speaking. This will let them know that when someone is talking, they are quiet and when it is their turn, the other party will also give them the same courtesy.
3. When you talk to your child, only use short sentences and vocabulary that is appropriate to their age. If you have questions, let him or her finish answering one first before you ask another. This helps eliminate any frustration in trying to imitate complex phrases, sentences or words.
4. The most important tip is to be able to listen so you know the message they are trying to convey. How you respond to your child when they say something should be the same as how you will talk to a regular kid so that the child will not feel different. Eventually they will know notice that they speak differently from others but for now, just let them be.
5. As a parent, you are very understanding with what your child is going through but things are different when you leave the home especially in school because the kids who don't know any better and they will laugh. To the best, don't let your child speak in public or perform in front of others just yet. But if they want to, let them.
6. Your child's siblings may just be as bad as some of the kids in school. When this happens, intervene immediately so this does not happen. Instead of making fun of the deficiency, everyone in the family must pull together and support each other.
7. A lot of people get the assistance of a Speech-Language Pathologist to help them deal with stuttering. There are various techniques that are used and with your help, you will be able to set realistic goals given that there is no known cure yet for this disorder.
8. Lastly, love your child for what he or she is. It is no one's fault that the child is stuttering. In fact, scientists until now do not know yet what causes it even if there is evidence to suggest that it is genetic or something neurological that the child was born with. You just have to accept the fact that there is this problem and you are okay with it.
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Marnee Brick, MSc
Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech Therapy Telepractice)