By McKenzie Lee, M.S., CCC-SLP
You may find yourself wondering how to support your child well at home if they are stuttering
more. You can implement the following at home in order to support your child without making it
obvious that you are working on their fluency (smooth speech).
A slow.. rate.. of speech..
Show your child a slow, calm rate of speech by speaking to them in that manner. Often, people
communicating will try to match each other’s energy level, pace of conversation, etc., and this
includes those that are stuttering. Providing your child with the opportunity to speak slowly and
calmly promotes their fluency and reduces potential anxiety.
Draaaaw out your vowels
This keeps your speech smooth and helps them to have that easier start to the upcoming
consonants. This also keeps you accountable in modeling slow speech for your child.
..… Pause before speaking
Model how to take time to begin a thought. Try taking a deep breath before speaking in order to
take time to process and formulate your thoughts prior to sharing.
Independence in conveying messages
Your child may be displaying anxiety when speaking. Although it is easy to want to help finish
the sentence for your child when they are talking with more stutters, your child will feel more successful in their communication if you just patiently allow them to finish their thought on their own.
Provide opportunities when your child is not competing in the conversation
Does your child feel like they are competing for time to share about their day? This can very
commonly happen while talking at the dinner table or in the car. Try setting boundaries in
conversations at these identified times in order to allow your child time so that they know they
are being heard in conversation without feeling anxious that someone may interrupt them.
Other important thoughts/considerations!
The most important thing with kids struggling with disfluencies is to keep them interested in and
feeling successful with sharing information and having conversations with people. If your child is
demonstrating shut-down or expressing significant frustration in their communication abilities,
make sure to be sharing that critical piece of information with your speech-language pathologist
so that they can work with you and your child in making and working through a plan that is
successful, engaging, and motivating for them.