6 Helpful Hints from Speech Therapists for Talking to Children who Stutter
- Does your child take a long time before they start a word or a sentence?
- Is your child’s speech difficult to understand compared to other children your child’s age?
- Does your child repeat certain sounds or words?
If the answers to all these questions are yes, then you will need to understand the root of the problem and more importantly, address it in the best way possible.
Here are some helpful tips provided by experts in the field of speech therapy for kids. By using these, you will be able to communicate with your child more effectively and ensure that you help them to grow up to be confident and speak more clearly.
Recommendations by our Speech and Language Therapist
- Slow Down – The first thing you need to do, is learning how to slow down. Speak to your kid at a steady pace. Let him or her finish their sentence when they are speaking to you, and then start answering. Do not assume what they were going to say and then answer before they have finished speaking. This will encourage them to speak more. It is critical to let them take their time to talk.
- Don’t Lose Patience – It is understandable that it can be immensely difficult for parents to keep their patience and immediately seek a speech therapist nearby, but you can play a major role in your child’s early speech development. Always make it a point to completely listen to your child. Make them your priority and make eye contact every time they try and make efforts to speak clearly.
- Keep Asking Questions – Kids love asking questions because they are inquisitive by nature. Don’t ask them any questions back to back, but make it a point to comment on what they are already talking about and keep the discussion lively. This will also make them feel special. Also, when you ask them the question, wait for a few seconds for the answer and then move on to the next one. You don’t need a degree in pediatric speech therapy for a step as simple as this!
- Educate Your Family and Friends – It is important for you to work with your little one, but other family members and friends can help too. By educating them about how to talk to your kid, both adults and older children can be helpful as well. For starters, let them take turns to talk and listen to get-togethers. This will expose your child to the idea of talking in large groups. All in all, you need to act as a team and lend your support to foster an inclusive environment.
- Praise them for the Little things – Praising has no substitute when you want to build the confidence of children early on. Keep using phrases such as “That’s a Great Job”, “Thank You for Being Helpful”, “I appreciate your interest” and so on. You do not only need to praise them for talking, but for their everyday activities. This will surely skyrocket their self-confidence leading them to volunteer more.
- Ditch the Screens – Technology can be both an asset and a problem when you have a child who stutters. While there are resources designed for speech and language therapy for kids, at home, you need to draw the line somewhere. What you can do instead, is take them out for a walk in the park, to museums, even just a trip to the mall! Make time to read together or work together in some hobby or crafts. These are some of the ways through which you can spend quality time with your kids allow them to practice their speech in a more natural and relaxed setting!
In the End
These are some of the top tips that you can use when talking to your child who is having speech difficulties. If you are concerned about it and want professional help, there is no need to wait for a certain point. Many speeches and language centers can offer speech therapy for toddlers. The SLP (speech and language pathologist) will help you determine the best course of action that can be beneficial.