Stuttering in a nutshell: What you can do to help your child’s stuttering at home

​Do you feel like your child might have a stuttering problem? How can you tell the difference between normal developmental disfluencies and a real fluency disorder? The Stuttering Foundation has TONS of resources you can check out to learn the difference. Take a look at this article, and then observe your child’s speech to get an idea of what might be going on. If you are still unsure, consult a speech therapist and get your child evaluated.

www.stutteringhelp.org/if-you-think-your-child-stuttering

Here are some tips on helping your child’s stuttering difficulties in his/her natural home environment. Since speech therapy services are usually given between 2-3 times a week, it is crucial that you are working on these strategies at home as well. Carrying over strategies is essential for helping your child generalize to their natural environment and, ultimately, progress.

1. SLOW, EASY, SMOOTH SPEECH

What is slow, easy, smooth speech? Exactly what it sounds like! Teach your child to speak at a slower rate, with easy onsets (no hard stops or contacts), and smoothly (eliminate as many “bumps” as possible). It is very important that your child understands the difference between slow, easy, smooth speech, and fast, hard, bumpy speech. If they understand how to identify and even “model” the differences, they will be much more aware of their speech and how to use the correct model. Start by modeling the different types of speech and having your child identify the correct type of speech you’re using. Then, you can quiz your child by having them model each type as well, using different vocabulary words. Once they have mastered this, you can practice using slow, easy, smooth speech during fun games, functional activities, and even designate 20 minutes a day of ONLY using slow, easy, smooth speech.

2. REDUCING SECONDARY BEHAVIORS

What is slow, easy, smooth speech? Exactly what it sounds like! Teach your child to speak at a slower rate, with easy onsets (no hard stops or contacts), and smoothly (eliminate as many “bumps” as possible). It is very important that your child understands the difference between slow, easy, smooth speech, and fast, hard, bumpy speech. If they understand how to identify and even “model” the differences, they will be much more aware of their speech and how to use the correct model. Start by modeling the different types of speech and having your child identify the correct type of speech you’re using. Then, you can quiz your child by having them model each type as well, using different vocabulary words. Once they have mastered this, you can practice using slow, easy, smooth speech during fun games, functional activities, and even designate 20 minutes a day of ONLY using slow, easy, smooth speech.

3. DEALING WITH EMOTIONS: SELF-RATING SPEECH

What is slow, easy, smooth speech? Exactly what it sounds like! Teach your child to speak at a slower rate, with easy onsets (no hard stops or contacts), and smoothly (eliminate as many “bumps” as possible). It is very important that your child understands the difference between slow, easy, smooth speech, and fast, hard, bumpy speech. If they understand how to identify and even “model” the differences, they will be much more aware of their speech and how to use the correct model. Start by modeling the different types of speech and having your child identify the correct type of speech you’re using. Then, you can quiz your child by having them model each type as well, using different vocabulary words. Once they have mastered this, you can practice using slow, easy, smooth speech during fun games, functional activities, and even designate 20 minutes a day of ONLY using slow, easy, smooth speech.

OTHER TIPS: 

  • Use increased pause time and reduced time pressure. Wait a few seconds while turn taking in conversations with your child to allow them to finish their idea. Never interrupt them.
  • Use strategic words to reduce pressure during communication. Ask less questions. Use words such as “maybe”, “I bet”, “I wonder”, “It sounds like”.
  • Rephrasing while modeling slow, easy, smooth speech. For example, if your child says “I want to have a cookie” with bumpy speech, you can respond with “Oh, you want to have a cookie!” while modeling slow, easy, smooth speech.

Now you have some of the simple tools to help your child carryover the skills they’ve learned in speech therapy to the home setting! Remember, maintaining these skills and practicing as much as possible will help your child’s progress significantly. Happy practicing!

 

 

 

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