S-s-s-stop the S-s-s-stuttering

English: Speech-Language Pathology

English: Speech-Language Pathology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Dr. Mom,

A stutter normally starts for people in childhood and is often referred to as a childhood stutter. This is often very worrying for parents and the child and it is difficult to know where to seek help for the person who has the stutter.

There are many types of stutter. Family and friends may not even be aware that a person they know has a stutter. That is because the person is able to hide the stutter, by using word avoidance or word substitution.

Other people are unable to do this and have what they would consider an openly more severe stutter.

A stutter would normally occur more when a person is:

  • under pressure
  • when tired
  • meeting new people
  • speaking in an uncomfortable situation
  • asking questions, for example asking for directions
  • introducing people Stuttering can also be known in some areas as stammering.

Stutter therapy:

People who have a stutter have different options when seeking therapy. They can go to a speech therapist or speech pathologist. Alternatively they can attend a speech course. These courses can be on a group basis or on a one to one basis.

There is one simple thing that Dr. Mom can do to help stuttering in a child. When a small child starts stuttering it is usually because he or she cannot find or articulate their words quick enough because of their small vocabulary. This is very stressful and almost terrifying for the little one who knows he has a small chance of getting his thought out (before he is distracted or Dr. Mom is distracted for that matter.) Take the child’s face in your hands and look into his eyes – give him all your attention and let him think about what he wants to say and help him get the words or thoughts out (before he forgets). Take the stress off. Give them all your time and attention. If you do this every time he begins to stutter or sputter trying to get your attention, the little one will realize he can take his time and even get to learn new words to communicate his thoughts. After a while the urgency will disappear and these incidences will get fewer and fewer – and the stuttering will be a thing of the past. This also works for rearranging speech impediments, saying “Watch my mouth, watch my tongue.”

And ….. Stutters can sing without stuttering – so encourage them to sing their thoughts if the stuttering is entrenched. Sing with them. Learn words with them. Learn the words of songs with them. Therapy rocks!

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