Stuttering affects the fluency or smoothness of speech and is characterized by “disfluencies” in the production of speech sounds. Some words are repeated and others are preceded by “um” or “uh.” This can make it difficult for children to communicate with others and affect their daily life. Symptoms can first appear between the ages of 2½ and 4 years. Stuttering can sometimes start during elementary school. It is more common for boys than girls.
Does my Child Need Help Because of Stuttering?
Who may need help
- Family history of stuttering.
- Stuttering that has continued for 6 months or longer.
- Presence of other speech or language disorders.
- Strong concerns by the child or family.
- Learning new skills to improve communication.
- Help with breath control.
- Learn techniques for smoother speech.
- Follow-up or maintenance sessions to prevent relapse.
How can I communicate better with people who stutter?
- Give them the time they need to speak.
- Don’t finish sentences for them.
- Don’t tell them to slow down or relax.
- Don’t treat them differently.
- Be interested in what they are saying, rather than how they’re saying it.