Stuttering and Fluency
To stutter is “to speak in short stops that one cannot control, often repeating certain sounds as in fear, embarrassment, etc.," according to Webster’s Dictionary. Anyone who has a child with this particular communication disorder realizes that “stuttering” is much more complex than reflected in that definition!Working with a speech language pathologist to eliminate and/or decrease the affects of disfluent speech is very important.You will be introduced to strategies your child will implement in order to become more fluent. Terms like “gentle onset”, “cancellation”, and “bumpy speech” may become new vocabulary for both your child and you!While following the directives of your school based speech language pathologist is imperative, you may also want to implement some strategies in the home environment to facilitate your child’s progress. Some suggestions recommended by the Stuttering Foundation, include:
·Speak with your child in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.Wait a few seconds after your child finishes speaking before you begin to speak.Your own relaxed speech will be far more effective than any advise such as “slow down” or “try it again, slowly”.
·Reduce the number of questions you ask your child. Children tend to speak more freely if they are expressing their own ideas rather than answering questions.
·Use your facial expressions and other body language to convey to your child that you are listening!
·Set aside a few minutes at a regular time each day when you can giveundivided attention to your child. During this time let your child choose what he would like to do.Let him direct the activity and decide himself if he wants to talk or not. When you talk during this time use slow, calm, and relaxed speech, with plenty of pauses.
·Help all family members learn to take turns talking and listening. Children, especially those who stutter, find it easier to talk when there are few interruptions and they have the listener’s attention.
·Above all, accept your child as he is!
To learn more about stuttering, visit the websites selected by your York County School Division Speech Language Pathologists.
Websites of Interest
Your child and family members will enjoy the following!
Jeremy and the Hippo www.mnsu.edu/dept/comdis/ISAD3/papers/jeremybook/jeremy1.html
You are in Control
A Stuttering Awareness Game