10 Expert Tips to Help You Cope With Your Child’s Stuttering Patterns
Millions of people across the world stutter and the majority includes young kids. But it will still break your heart when you hear your child struggle to say simple words. Occasional stumbling of words do occur in toddlers when they are excited, upset or tired.
Nevertheless, speech dysfluencies affect more than 10 per cent of children aged 2 to 5 years. Stuttering is not always an effect of an emotional problem. There may be other factors that could lead to stuttering. Developmental, neurogenic and psychogenic are the three types of stuttering. Here are 10 expert tips to help you cope with your child’s stuttering patterns.
The more aware you are, the better able you will be to help your child. Gather facts that will help you make the right decisions for your child. One of the most important things that you should do is to learn the entire therapy from the therapist and use it at home and make it work. Do a lot of research, read a lot and talk with the experts that will help you to guide your child in a much better way.
Don’t brush the matter under the carpet. Like any other challenge that your child may face during her development phases, acknowledge the issue and talk about it openly with him/her. It is, of course, sad to see your child struggle to speak, but don’t show your non-verbal cues whenever they having a hard time talking. Instead, say, ‘Sometimes talking can be hard with difficult words and I too get stuck at times. I want to hear what you just said. Can you repeat that?’
Interruptions can be a deterrent in developing fluency. It is important for your child that you remain patient and avoid interrupting or completing his words or sentences. Observe every activity he/she does through the day and encourage them to talk with simple activities. You should help them to relax whenever they stutter. Instead of asking a lot of questions, let him/her express their ideas freely and whichever way they want to.
Stress and pressure can disrupt language fluency. A child experiences anxiety when he/she is not able to keep up with the demand to talk quickly. Listen tolerantly and speak to them at a relaxed pace to reduce such pressure. Don’t expose your child to situations that are high-pressured, like asking them to narrate a story or rhyme in front of visitors. However, encourage them to talk, if they want to.
Maintain a Positive Environment
Don’t get irritated or upset about your child’s flow of words. Try and keep the environment relaxed and structured. Comfort and reassure your child when he/she feels frustrated and don’t let them know that their condition is worrisome to you. Maintaining a positive environment will help your kids to gain some momentum and confidence while talking.
Find And Address The Trigger
Children who stutter experience a range of emotions. Identify the factors that trigger the pattern and use those that support fluency. Maybe your kid’s hyperactive nature was the primary reason for his/her stuttering. So try to keep their energy levels under control and they would actually be fine once they are calm. Also, make them practice activities like breathing as well as other techniques too.
Keep The Instructions Simple
Instead of combining several instructions, split them up into short and simple sentences to build your child’s confidence. Complex sentences overwhelm you kids. So instead of saying, ‘We will read now, do craft later and then solve puzzles’, just ask, ‘Can we read a book now?’ After the activity was over, move on to the next instruction.
Opt For Therapies
Professional methods and speech therapies can bring about language clarity. Improve speech fluency with a variety of strategies like modified air technique or the cognitive behaviour therapy where you can identify the stress-inducing factors to help the child. Electronic devices or tools like a metronome are also seen to improve the child’s rhythm and fluency. Early diagnosis, as well as a proper attitude are necessary for better treatment. The severity of the stuttering and the type of therapy determine the length of any treatment.
Although the measures to help a dysfluent child are easy, it needs a lot of effort and persistence. Stuttering may seem like a difficult problem to cope with, but you can successfully manage with early detection, right help at the right time, and determination to continue with your efforts.
Involve The Whole Family
Nothing can replace a family’s love, encouragement, understanding, and patience when dealing with children. Positive feedback and reinforcement encourage a child to speak more at home and in school. Try to involve your family to interact with your kids in a positive manner and avoid with those who made fun of them. Also, it’s wise to meet the teachers, introduce them to the therapists and keep them all involved in the plan of action.