My pre-school child is stuttering, what should I do?
When your preschool child suddenly begins to stutter it can be alarming. One day they are talking just fine and then next, they can’t seem to get their words or sentences out. Most preschoolers go through a period of stuttering as they learn to speak. The amount of stuttering that a child has is not a sign that they will keep stuttering. So before you panic, here are some of the risk factors that a Speech Language Pathologist will look at to determine if therapy is warranted.
- Is there a family member who stutters?
- Are there other speech or language issues?
- Does the child avoid certain words or talking?
- Is the child is showing signs of facial grimacing, arm and leg movement, or other movements of their body when stuttering?
- Is the child repeating parts of a word (e.g., “Ge-ge-get some”)?
- Has the child been stuttering for longer than 6 months?
What is stuttering?
Stuttering is a neuromuscular dyscordination. That means that there is a breakdown in the timing of the brain, lungs, vocal folds, mouth working in unison.
What causes stuttering?
Genetics: 50% of people who stutter have family members who also stutter
Brain Wiring: People who stutter as adults process language differently using both sides of the brain rather than one.
Language Development: Children whose language skills are higher than their motor speech skills are more likely to stutter.
Speech and Language Disorders: Children who have other articulation or language delays are more likely to stutter.
Medications: some allergy medications have been associated with stutteringResources for Stuttering:
Resources for Stuttering:
The Stuttering Foundation of America www.stutteringhelp.org Helpful information, videos, and other resources regarding stuttering.
The National Stuttering Association www.westutter.org
The Stuttering Home Page www.stutteringhomepage.com
The American Speech-Language and Hearing Association www.asha.org
FRIENDS: The National Association of Young People Who Stutter www.friendswhostutter.org