Stuttering in children: How parents can help

When a child starts to stutter, it can be alarming for parents. But most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about.

Stuttering is very common. In fact, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), 5% to 10% of all children stutter at some point, usually between 2 and 6 years of age.

Stuttering takes different forms

Children who stutter know what they want to say; they simply run into trouble when saying it. There are three different kinds of stuttering:

  • Repetitions, when children repeat a word or parts of a word (“Can I pet your d-d-d-d-dog?”)
  • Prolongations, when they stretch a sound for a long period of time (“Sssssssssstop it!”)
  • Blocks, when they have a hard time getting words out.

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Stuttering is more common in boys than girls and can run in families. We do not understand exactly what causes it. Most likely, it occurs due to a combination of factors, which may differ in each child who stutters.

Developmental stuttering, the most common form of this speech disorder, happens as children are learning speech and language skills. Stuttering can be caused by a brain injury, but that’s far less common. Contrary to what many people believe, it is rare for stuttering to be caused by psychological factors.

Helping your child manage stuttering

Nonetheless, stuttering can cause distress and stress for children and parents alike. That’s why the best way to manage stuttering is not to focus on it, but rather to be patient and supportive. For example, the NIDCD suggests that parents of children who stutter should

  • create relaxed environments for conversation: set aside time each day to catch up with your child
  • speak in a slow and relaxed way yourself
  • resist the temptation to finish your child’s words or sentences yourself; let them finish
  • focus on the content of the message rather than how it is delivered.

To the extent that you can, ignore the stuttering — but if your child brings it up or seems bothered by it, be open and accepting. Acknowledge that it is happening, but tell your child that it is fine and they shouldn’t worry. Also see additional tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics on ways parents can help toddlers and preschoolers with stuttering.

When to get more help with stuttering

Most stuttering goes away by itself within about six months; overall, 75% of children who stutter stop completely. You should talk to your pediatrician or a speech-language pathologist if

  • the stuttering has continued for more than 6 to 12 months
  • the stuttering started after ages 3 to 4 years, as this may make it more likely to continue
  • the stuttering has increased in severity or frequency
  • there is a family history of stuttering that continued past early childhood
  • your child is upset or frustrated by the stuttering.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

2 Corinthians 13:9 For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.

Colossians 1:28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ.

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.

2 Corinthians 10:15-16 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another.

2 Thessalonians 1:3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;

2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Ephesians 1:17-18 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 3:16-19 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, read more

Recommended contacts for prayer request and Bible study

www.agapetemplesda.com

www.adventistontario.org

https://www.hopechannel.com/au/learn/courses

breathoflife.tv/

https://3abn.org/all-streams/3abn.html

http://www.nadadventist.org/article/15/contact-us

https://www.adventist.org/en/utility/contact/

It Is Written

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