As children become increasingly verbal, they may start stumbling over their words, raising concerns about stammering.
If your child is truly stammering, he or she may hold out the first sound in a word, saying "Ssssssssometimes we go out," or repeat the sound, as in "Look at the b-b-b-ball!" In addition, children who stutter often tend to develop other mannerisms, e.g., eye blinking, tense mouth, looking to the side and avoiding eye contact.
What Can Parents Do?
Here are some ways you can help your child:
Try to reduce communication stress
There are several techniques that put less pressure on a child in a speaking situation. Rephrasing questions as comments (e.g., "You played in the park. It must have been fun!" instead of "What did you do at the park?") is one effective approach. You can think of some other ways that can help to lower communication stress.
Talk about it
When children know that they are stuttering, it is best to be open and talk about it in a positive way. Let them know it is fine to have "bumpy speech." If a child does not seem to know the problem, you need not bring it up until you take your child to a speech therapist.
Give children time to finish what they are saying. Avoid rushing or interrupting them. Avoid telling them to "slow down" or "think about what you want to say." Such phrases are generally not helpful to children who stutter.
Model good speech habits
In such cases, telling your child how to talk is generally not helpful, you can model speech habits that help with stuttering, e.g., slowing down your own speed when you talk, putting in more pauses between sentences and speaking in a relaxed manner.
Consult a professional
A child's paediatrician can help you provide a recommendation of a speech therapist. You can also look for a private speech-therapist near your area.
Stuttering in Toddlers & Preschoolers: What's Typical, What's Not?[Internet]. Available at: https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/Pages/Stuttering-in-Toddlers-Preschoolers.aspx. Accessed on Mar 13, 2020.