Childcare for changing shifts

Childcare for changing shifts

How Speech Therapy Can Help Cure A Child's Stammer

Guillaume Vidal

It's not uncommon for young children to go through a phase of stammering.  Stammering often disappears without any form of therapy or intervention as the child grows older, but the affliction persists, you may need to seek the assistance of a speech therapist. 

Read on to find out how a speech therapist could help a child who stammers.

What causes stammering?

Stammering usually appears during the phase of speech development when the child's vocabulary increases and they are learning to form more complex sentences.  The child may hesitate or become indecisive about which words to use, or they may try to speak too quickly and consequently fail to enunciate properly, leading to stammering.

As the child's ability to form phrases and sentences develops, their stammer may disappear on its own.  However, you may want to seek the advice of a speech therapist if your child continues to stammer after the age of five, or if any of the following problems develop:

  • the child's stammer becomes worse
  • the child's speech becomes strained or problematic and they try to avoid speaking at all
  • the child's face shows tightening or tension when they speak
  • the child's tone of voice rises in pitch or volume
  • the child has facial twitching or random body movements together with the stammering
  • the child avoids using certain words that cause them to stammer

What can a speech therapist do to help your child?

A speech therapist will evaluate your child via a series of consultations during which they will try to establish the root cause of the stammer.  A program of exercises and therapy will be devised for your child, and you will receive guidance on how to help your child at home.

You and your child will continue to attend speech therapy sessions until the stammer has been cured.

How can you help to cure your child's stammer?

There are a number of steps you can take in conjunction with your child's therapy sessions to help cure their stammer.

  1. When chatting with your child, don't insist that they enunciate every word precisely every time.  Try to make talking fun, rather than stressful.  
  2. Avoid the temptation to continually correct your child's speech and don't offer advice such as, "talk slowly", or "take your time".  This will only make the child more self-conscious and more likely to stammer.  
  3. In the early stages of your child's therapy, it's best to avoid asking them to read out loud.  This could just make the child nervous and consequently their stammer may become worse.  
  4. Always try to maintain eye contact with your child when they are speaking.  If you look away in embarrassment when they stammer, you could exacerbate the problem by making the child feel awkward.  
  5. If possible, keep the home atmosphere quiet and calm, especially if your child is inclined to speak very quickly.  The more chilled-out you can make their environment, the less likely they are to rush their speech, and the easier it will be for them to control the stammer.

In conclusion

Many children who stammer simply grow out of the habit, but if your child's stammer persists, working with a speech therapist could help you to cure the problem.  Ask your doctor to refer you and your child to a good therapist in your area.

For more information, contact communiKIDS or a similar organization.


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About Me
Childcare for changing shifts

We have the trickiest time finding childcare for our baby, as we both do shift work. My husband is a police officer, and I'm a doctor, so we always seem to struggling to get someone to look after our son when we are at work at nights. We want to know that he is being loved and cared for even when we are not there. Luckily we have a great childcare service that is flexible, and sometimes we can leave our son longer if we need to work later or if emergencies arise. This blog is about juggling childcare for shift workers.