For a parent, it is a big shock when their young toddler starts to stutter. What to do next is hard to decide, whether to seek help from a stutter specialist or to hope it is just a phase. I met a lady who was thirty and her little boy aged four had had a stutter for quite a while. She had taken him to speech therapy and was extremely anxious as to why he had started to stutter. It had possibly started because the toddlers father had quite a severe stutter, the boy may of picked up his stutter this way. Many other people contact me asking why their toddler has developed a stutter and asking what forms of stutter treatments are available.
I always suggest that they keep as patient as they can and try to play games, speech games with their child. They can challenge the child to say the word fluently, they show their child how it should be said and then challenge them to do the same. When they do manage to say that particular word fluently they then heap lots of praise onto the child, telling them how clever they are and how proud mommy and daddy are of them. I even advise giving them a reward like a small chocolate bar. If instead of being patient, parents or relatives are aggressive, saying things like: "Get your words out boy" "Spit it out!" These types of comments can have a very negative effect and make that child withdraw into their shell.
This may to some people seem very obvious to say, however you would not believe the amount of people who have told me this is what they were told as an infant. I had a stutter myself from the age of four. I went to see many speech therapists who offered me advice which basically consisted of slowing down my rate of speech and to take a deep breath before I spoke. This did not really work for me and I have to admit my attitude was not what it should have been as I believed that it was impossible for the therapist to understand what I was going through as they had never had a stutter. After coping with the speech impediment for eighteen years I had had enough and went about trying to find my own stuttering solution. It took me nearly a year to beat the stutter and as a career I now help other people to achieve fluency.
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