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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
How can I help my child manage her stutter?
It is important to remember that every child develops speech at different times. If your child is having speech problems, keep the child's physician involved in the evaluation of your child. The following are some suggestions to help with normal speech difficulties your child might have, and help to prevent your child from developing true stuttering difficulties:
Encourage your child to talk to you about fun and easy topics in a non-stressful place.
Try to make talking fun or make it a game.
Do not interrupt your child while he/she is speaking, even if your child is making mistakes or having trouble.
Do not ask your child to repeat something you do not understand. Attempt to guess what your child is saying and continue on with the conversation.
Do not have your child practice certain sounds or words. This will make your child uncomfortable about his/her speech.
Do not try to slow your child's speaking. Try to talk with your child in a calm, quiet place and be a model of speaking slowly. Asking your child to slow down will only frustrate your child.
Ask other adults not to correct your child's speech and do not talk about your child's speech problems in front of him/her.
Listen attentively to your child.
Wait for your child to say the words without saying them for him/her.
Talk openly about the stuttering if your child brings up the subject.
Avoid asking your child to speak for you
The goal of treatment is to focus on relearning how to speak, or to unlearn incorrect ways of speaking. Although there is no cure for stuttering, early intervention may keep stuttering from becoming a life-long problem. Speech and language evaluation is suggested for children who exhibit stuttering or struggle with speech for more than six months. Medications and electronic devices to treat stuttering are sometimes used.
When do speech difficulties become a concern?
Your child's physician will make this determination with you and your child. The following are some of the warning signs that child might have true stuttering or other speech problems and not just normal developmental difficulties:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”