Skip to main content

Does your child appear to be stuttering?

Aug 06, 2016 12:34PM, Published by Today's Family, Categories: Health Health



By Jamie Lober

What you might not know about stuttering is that it truly runs the gamut. “I see preschoolers and people in their sixties,” said Patrice Carothers, speech therapist in Beachwood. While experts have come to understand stuttering in some ways, the cause remains a mystery. “What we know is that it tends to run in families, though certain people may stutter as a child and outgrow it or it may become a lifelong problem,” said Carothers.

Everyone is affected by stuttering in a different way. “It is difficult for parents to determine whether or not their young child is in fact stuttering or going through a period of temporary dysfluency which is often times a normal part of development,” said Carothers. It can be frustrating when you are unsure of where your child stands. “Temporary dysfluency means repeating a syllable, word or phrase and that is where a speech pathologist who is specially trained in working with stuttering can conduct an evaluation,” said Carothers. This entails an hour or two where the therapist can listen to the child and ask the child questions to determine if it is something that requires therapy or if there is a program the parents can follow at home that would facilitate fluency.

Stuttering is a real issue and if your pediatrician says not to worry and the stuttering is temporary, do not be afraid to consult with a speech pathologist to be sure. “He will analyze the type of dysfluency and when it seems to occur, whether or not there is associated tension and if the child is aware of his difficulty with getting words out because all of those factors come together for whether or not the child has a stuttering problem,” said Carothers.

The strategies that are recommended for parents of young children who are at risk for stuttering or show signs of stuttering are also beneficial for all children. “Become a good listener, do not interrupt the child when he is talking, do not finish the word for the child when he is stuttering and do not use rapid speech,” said Carothers.

Follow Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood’s style of speaking. “He is the classic example of the way parents should talk to children to facilitate fluency because the flow of his speech is slower, he stretches the vowels out in his words and uses frequent pausing where it would be normal to take a breath if you were reading out loud,” said Carothers. Speak in a slow, but easing way that is not exaggerated and stays within normal limits so you can be a model for your child. “We are concerned about a prolongation of a sound like 'mmmommy' where the initial sound is held for a long time, or if the word were 'table' and there was sound repetition, that is considered significant,” said Carothers. Some things that may seem like a big deal to you are not. “If it is phrase repetition like 'I want I want ice-cream,' that is considered normalized and you should not be concerned,” said Carothers.

Dysfluencies come in many shapes and forms. A child with stuttering problems that are treated as a preschooler can have an excellent chance of complete recovery without even knowing that he had a problem. However, if he becomes older and aware of his stuttering or it has been brought to his attention because he is teased, he may be self-conscious or think he can no longer say a word that he once had difficulty with. When a child thinks he can no longer say a word that begins with a certain sound that he had trouble producing, it grows into a debilitating problem.

“You want to intervene before the child develops an attitude about himself as a stutterer and develops negative qualities that can be associated with that like anxiety,” said Carothers. Be empathetic and supportive. “It is important to maintain good eye contact when he is having trouble or any time; have an open, accepting attitude; and if the child has a hard block it is perfectly okay for the parent to say 'I see you are having trouble talking right now and we all do sometimes but it is okay,' ” said Carothers. Be reassuring.

Know that there are wonderful resources out there. Try to weed out bad, harmful advice that is not evidence-based versus guidance from reputable sources. “The Stuttering Foundation advice is based on scientific research and is factual, written by experts in the field,” said Carothers. The Stuttering Foundation is a nonprofit organization developed for the prevention and treatment of stuttering. “They have free stuff like video tapes, things for teachers, siblings and pediatricians, ways to get insurance for covering stuttering therapy and more,” said Carothers. The outlook on stuttering is much more positive and optimistic compared to the past. “We do not have a cure or all the answers but we do have a lot of help,” she added.

A lot of progress has been made. “We have learned more in the past decade in working with not only the stuttering itself but with the attitudes and feelings about stuttering and deconditioning those so the child is not afraid to talk,” said Carothers. The big trend is to work on the psychosocial aspects of stuttering as well as the stuttering itself. “In the past it was just working on stuttering or the psychosocial aspects but now we blend the two together and have a customized way of working with individual children who stutter on exactly what they need,” said Carothers.



Health


  • Concerts and more at the Glen

    08/17/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Bring a picnic to enjoy before the show. Snacks and beverages are ...


  • Euclid Farmers' Market

    08/18/2017
    03:00PM — 06:30PM

    Market features locally grown and organic produce, baked goods, bedding plants, herbs, candles an...


  • Sparx City Hop

    08/19/2017
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    As patrons loop through neighborhoods on trolleys, tour guides will share interesting facts and p...


It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

It looks like we don't have any events for this date. You can always add an event.

  • Wade Oval Wednesdays

    08/16/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Enjoy a FREE concert, food trucks, vendors, theme nights, and activities vary each week and are a...


  • This program explains a new understanding of pain, as well as methods of treating your own pain w...


  • Concerts and more at the Glen

    08/17/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Bring a picnic to enjoy before the show. Snacks and beverages are ...


  • Euclid Farmers' Market

    08/18/2017
    03:00PM — 06:30PM

    Market features locally grown and organic produce, baked goods, bedding plants, herbs, candles an...


  • Sparx City Hop

    08/19/2017
    11:00AM — 06:00PM

    As patrons loop through neighborhoods on trolleys, tour guides will share interesting facts and p...


  • Wade Oval Wednesdays

    08/23/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Enjoy a FREE concert, food trucks, vendors, theme nights, and activities vary each week and are a...


  • Euclid Farmers' Market

    08/25/2017
    03:00PM — 06:30PM

    Market features locally grown and organic produce, baked goods, bedding plants, herbs, candles an...


  • Mentor City Fest

    08/25/2017
    04:00PM — 11:00PM

    Mentor's favorite family-friendly festival offers a full slate of entertainment, vendors, food, a...


  • Concerts and more at the Glen

    08/25/2017
    07:00PM — 08:30PM

    Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Bring a picnic to enjoy before the show. Snacks and beverages are ...


  • Mentor City Fest

    08/26/2017
    12:00PM — 11:00PM

    Mentor's favorite family-friendly festival offers a full slate of entertainment, vendors, food, a...


  • 9th Annual Cleveland Garlic Festival

    08/26/2017
    12:00PM — 09:00PM

    Featuring a celebrity chef competition, live music, kids area, parades and many more events and a...


  • Railroad Memorabilia Show

    08/27/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Collectors will show off their private collections of railroad related items like railroad signal...


  • 72nd One World Day Festival

    08/27/2017
    11:00AM — 07:00PM

    Featuring parade of flags, guided trolley tours, family activities, beer garden, naturalization c...


  • 9th Annual Cleveland Garlic Festival

    08/27/2017
    12:00PM — 06:00PM

    Featuring a celebrity chef competition, live music, kids area, parades and many more events and a...


  • Senior Safari

    08/30/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Come out to Senior Safari Days where guests 62 and better get free admission to the Zoo. Tai Chi ...


  • Wade Oval Wednesdays

    08/30/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Enjoy a FREE concert, food trucks, vendors, theme nights, and activities vary each week and are a...


  • Geauga County Fair

    08/31/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00AM

    Exhibits open daily at 10 am Rides open daily at noon Exhibits, animals, rides, music, foo...


  • Geauga County Fair

    09/01/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00AM

    Exhibits open daily at 10 am Rides open daily at noon Exhibits, animals, rides, music, foo...


  • Euclid Farmers' Market

    09/01/2017
    03:00PM — 06:30PM

    Market features locally grown and organic produce, baked goods, bedding plants, herbs, candles an...


  • Geauga County Fair

    09/02/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00AM

    Exhibits open daily at 10 am Rides open daily at noon Exhibits, animals, rides, music, foo...


  • Geauga County Fair

    09/03/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00AM

    Exhibits open daily at 10 am Rides open daily at noon Exhibits, animals, rides, music, food,...


  • Salute To Orange

    09/03/2017
    05:30PM

    Featuring entertainment, rocket car rides, fireworks, food & more.


  • Geauga County Fair

    09/04/2017
    09:00AM — 12:00AM

    Exhibits open daily at 10 am Rides open daily at noon Exhibits, animals, rides, music, food,...


  • Preschool Safari- Getting Around

    09/06/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Your little Zoo enthusiasts are sure to love these fun-filled programs designed for families with...