If your child has a stammer, it is natural to be worried about whether it will affect their quality of life and their ability to learn. Around 8% of children will stammer at some point but will go on to talk fluently. As a parent, there are several ways you can help your child’s stammer:
Tip 1: Listen to your child
Listening to what your child is saying is really important and showing that you are understanding what they are saying, by commenting on what they say is better than just asking them questions. It can be difficult to set aside time for listening to your child if you have a busy routine, but this will really improve their speech.
Tip 2: Create positive opportunities for communication
Singing nursery rhymes with your child is a fun way for them to learn how to say words but it is also creating a situation where they are less likely to stammer. Singing songs and doing word rhymes is another way to help to say words, where stammering is less likely.
Also, a child is less likely to stammer when they are familiar with the word they are saying. So, it will help if you use questions such as “Do you want a banana or an apple?” Rather than “Which do you want?” as this helps build familiarity with the words they need to use.
Tip 3: Try to build their confidence
Making learning as fun as possible will make it more enjoyable and rewarding progress is a great way to build confidence. Having some incentives and a fun reward system will make sure they are eager to learn and feel more confident in their speech when they have successes that are celebrated.
Tip 4: Be aware of the influence of conversations around them
Check how your own conversations within your family are constructed. Does someone finish other people’s sentences? Is one person a dominant talker without giving much time for other people to contribute to conversations? You should aim to let everyone in the family have equal talking time in discussions and avoid finishing sentences for others.
Tip 5: Try speech and language therapy (SLT)
You can get help from experts in speech and language therapy who will be able to work with your child and you, to create bespoke exercises and other activities that will enable them to become more fluent. The earlier your child starts with therapy, the better.
At ChatterBug, we provide tailored speech therapy services to children both privately and through their school, working 1:1 or in interactive group sessions to work through activities that improve fluency and develop more confidence. Our highly qualified experts assess and diagnose language problems, then create a tailored programme for each child.
Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many children from accessing the speech support they need but we offer online Telehealth sessions that are delivered through video call, so children can work on their speech problems safely throughout the restrictions. This helps them to catch up with their classmates academically, develop more confidence in social situation and improve their future life outcomes, such as employability.
Visit our website to find out more and get a quote for the Telehealth sessions for your child.