4 Things Every Parent Should Know About Stuttering

Stuttering Child

Did you know that about 5 percent of all children stutter during early childhood?

In most cases, stuttering in children lasts approximately six months and can be resolved later during childhood.

If you notice your toddler stuttering, there are ways you can help him or her overcome their speech challenges, but good timing and strategy are of the essence. Read on to learn some facts about stuttering in kids.

1. Toddler Stuttering May Be Genetic

Though there are various reasons why children stutter, sometimes these challenges are genetic. Even if a toddler’s parents never stuttered as children, a child’s tendency to stutter can be traced back to that of another relative.

Stuttering, also known as disfluency, may be linked to underlying issues such as learning disabilities, ADHD, or lip and tongue development, all of which can be genetic.

2. Stuttering First Occurs Around Age Two

Parents first notice stuttering in toddlers during their sensory stage for vocabulary development. As kids learn new words and phrases, their oral skills can’t quite keep up with their brain, which may cause their speech to slow down or falter. This period usually presents itself between 18 months and age two.

Sometimes, older kids develop stuttering tendencies when they learn to read out loud or when they first begin school. Nervousness around their peers causes some kids to speak slower or stumble on some words and phrases.

3. Stuttering May Resolve Itself

As kids become more confident in their speaking skills, their stuttering may resolve itself. This is especially true if the stuttering occurs when a child first learns to speak.

New research shows that some children’s brain structure is slightly atypical, which causes their brain pathways to create verbal challenges.

With time and positive reinforcement at home, these speech issues can resolve on their own as the brain develops.

4. Signs That More Help Is Necessary

If stuttering persists beyond age five, professional help from a speech pathologist may be necessary. With science-based stuttering therapy treatment, a child’s disfluency can clear up around the time he or she reaches upper elementary school.

Look out for the following signs that your child may benefit from speech therapy:

  • Persistent stuttering past kindergarten
  • Straining of facial muscles while trying to speak
  • Involuntary bodily or facial movements while speaking
  • When your child avoids saying certain words or syllables
  • When your child repeats words and phrases often
  • If your child’s speech always sounds strained

Using science-based techniques, a speech pathologist can work with your child to resolve the stuttering tendencies. He or she may also refer you to a plastics specialist if the speech issues are caused by physical facial conformities such as a tongue-tie. The speech therapist will also teach you positive ways to help your child at home.

Ready for More Resources?

Is your toddler stuttering? If so, which resources have you found most helpful thus far?

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