Are you worried about your kid’s stuttering? Do you fear it could be a lifelong problem? Do you wish to understand why do toddlers stutter and what could be the cause? Do you wish to learn about some solutions to the problem? If these questions are ones that you have asked yourself, it’s time you read our post.
Here we will learn is it normal for toddlers to stutter, what are its causes, and how you can help your young one overcome the problem.
What Is Stuttering?
Stuttering is a commonly occurring speech problem that affects kids and toddlers between two and five years of age. In the case of most toddlers, stuttering is just a natural way to learn the use of particular language to try it out before using it properly. Many toddlers also use it as a medium way before they learn how to form full sentences. Your toddler may be stuttering on and off, and sometimes it can last as long as a few weeks to even a couple of years. In most cases, you will not require any professional or medical assistance to help him get over it. As your toddler grows up and interacts with more children and people, the stuttering will eventually go away.
[ Read: Language Development Tips For Toddlers ]
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In some cases, however, the stuttering that your toddler experiences may be a longer and even life term condition. As a parent, it is natural for you to feel concerned, especially as you may worry about the consequences he may have to face in a social setting later in life.
Even if he has been stuttering for more than six months or even close to two years, it does not mean the condition will remain chronic. There are many reasons behind your toddler stuttering. Here are some common causes that may cause sudden stuttering in toddlers:
1. A History Of Stuttering In The Family:
- The role of family history as a definite cause for stuttering is still debatable, but there are certain specialists who believe it does have a link.
- Specialists who feel that stuttering could occur as a result of a previous family history feel that the same happens due to certain genes that the toddler may inherit.
- As per medical records, almost 60 percent of all toddlers who have a stuttering condition have someone in the family who has suffered from the same in the past.
- Medical experts also feel that those toddlers who show problems in the area of language and speech may be more prone to stuttering. (1)
[ Read: Signs of Speech Delay In Toddlers ]
2. Family Expectations And Overall Parenting Comfort:
- Some child experts believe that when a toddler develops the condition of stuttering, it is a serious reflection on the family’s dynamics.
- According to experts, toddlers whose parents have very high expectations of them are mostly known to stutter.
- The intense pressure of expectations can often cause a lack of self-confidence in toddlers. It can, in turn, result in stuttering. Even if the stuttering starts as a sudden reflex, or if it starts as a result of low self-esteem, it could be a lifelong issue.
- Those toddlers whose parents are not able to devote enough quality time to their toddlers may also experience stuttering. Similarly, toddlers who have gone through some intense emotional turmoil or trauma, like the separation of parents or a sudden death in the family of a loved one, may also start stuttering.
How To Help Your Toddler Through Stuttering:
If you do see a stuttering problem in your toddler, try the following approach to making your toddler feel more comfortable while speaking:
1. Wait And Watch:
Sometimes, your toddler may just be in a phase where he is trying out new words, and he fixates on some that he wants to use more often.
- Your toddler may stutter when he is angry, scared, confused, sad, or is experiencing such emotional upheaval. It is natural.
- Make a note whether he stutters more at specific occasions than at other times. If you notice a pattern, it will tell you whether the stuttering is a result of certain situations or is a continuing problem.
- Most toddlers experience a stuttering phase. Child experts recommend that you wait until he is at least three years of age before visiting a speech therapist.
[ Read: Learning Disabilities In Toddlers ]
2. Speak With A Professional To Get An Expert Opinion:
If you feel your toddler is having trouble in expressing himself, you may want to see an expert to get a professional opinion.
- Once you take an opinion, and it is more than six months, check if you notice any improvement. If there is still no improvement, you can speak to your toddler’s doctor who may recommend a speech therapist who deals with younger children.
- If your toddler goes to a preschool, check with the teacher if he suffers from a stuttering problem while in school. Some schools have links with various early intervention programs that can help you get an idea of how you can help him.
- Screening your toddler will be a good way to assess whether there is a need for a professional treatment or if it is just a passing phase.
3. Try Out Speech Therapy And Give It A Chance:
While earlier it was thought that speech therapy could have a negative impact on toddlers, the benefits are now far more outweighed than any cons.
- Most child care practitioners feel that if you introduce early intervention for your toddler, it can help treat the problem at the roots.
- Specialists who treat toddlers to help with speech use fun methods like sounds, blocks, games and more. Your toddler will benefit from the treatment while having a lot of fun.
4. Practice Further Helping Techniques At Home:
- Talk slowly to your toddler and reduce your pace to match his.
- Do not ask him too many questions to and instead let him speak first.
- Use facial expressions and body language while talking to your toddler.
- Make sure you pay undivided attention to your toddler each day.
- Make sure you listen to your toddler instead of only talking.
- Always show your toddler that you love him and are proud of him.
Seeing your toddler stutter could cause some concern, but speak to your toddler’s doctor to remove any worries you may have. If you faced a similar situation or know of someone who did, do share the experience here.
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