All parents would like their children to speak fluently, but seeing stuttering in children will become worrisome to all parents.
Stuttering is an interruption caused by disruption and stoppage in fluency.
This stoppage can sometimes cause the child to repeat the words or sounds or can cause the silence completely, in which the next word will not come out.
There are many causes contributing to this condition such as genetic problem, developmental delay, or difference in the processing of the language by the brain.
Usually, stuttering problem is seen in children between eighteen to twenty four months when they start to frame words to make a sentence, but there is nothing to worry for the parents because it is common in children to stutter at this stage.
Also when the time for school comes near, children tend to have fear and anxiety. This will be stressful for the children and they start to stutter, but as they become comfortable, the stutter will disappear.
Normally, a child will stutter for a few weeks to some months. If a child develops stuttering below age 5, the stuttering will go away on its own without any intervention.
You may have a doubt that how can you identify if your child is passing through the normal phase of stuttering or if your child has any real stuttering problem.
The way to differentiate between the normal phase and real stuttering problem is to keep an eye on your child to look how often your child has been stuttering and in what way.
How to help your child from stuttering problem?
You need to focus on your child on what he or she is saying, but not on how your child is saying. Try to be a good listener.
Do not do corrections or make criticism when your child is talking something, such as take your own time, etc. This may make your child over conscious about the way he/she is speaking. Also, do not tell your child to think before talking.
If your child is facing stuttering problem, do not ask him/her to read loudly, rather encourage your child to perform activities that does not require much talking.
Try to talk slowly with your child and keep a normal eye contact with your child. Do not look at them showing signs of being upset.
When stuttering problem persists, then it is good to have an evaluation with your primary doctor.
When you see an increase in the prolongation of words or excessive repetition of the words or phrases in your child, sound repetitions becoming frequent, child’s speech is stressful, the tension in the face or tightness of the speech muscles in your child, or if your child is avoiding the situations where he/she needs to talk, etc, then immediately seek a speech-language therapist for evaluation and treatment.
Stuttering is not a big problem if your child is below 5 years and there is no need to worry, but observe your child from time to time and seek appropriate treatment if you feel your child is having real stuttering problem.