Stuttering Therapy



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To the Parents of Young Children

1. Try to maintain a household schedule or follow a routine. Have regular meal hours, a definite time for bed, play, study, and family sharing (a listening time during which the members of the family discuss their activities, ideas, etc.). Children function better when they know what is expected of them at a particular time.
2. See that your child has regular medical checkups. Keep your child in good health.
3. Remember, your child will progress at his own rate of growth and development. He should not be compared to other youngsters of his own age or to his older siblings. Maturation is a very important factor in speech development. A child will talk when his nerve centers and speech organs are sufficiently developed.
4. Motivation is important. Children develop speech because it is the means to fulfilling an end. They see something and they want it—they realize that they must communicate their wishes to others. Speech becomes meaningful to them because it is useful. If parents accept gestures and grunts too quickly in place of verbalization of speech, children may not try to talk. They may not think it is necessary—there is no incentive. Don’t expect perfect speech, but insist they use their “words” or the best speech of which they are capable.
5. Good speech standards in the home are important to a child’s speech development as food is to his growth. Children imitate their parents. Praise the child’s efforts to use good speech even though it may not be perfect. Do not push him beyond his individual limits and capabilities.
6. Encourage him to play with youngsters slightly older than himself, as well as with those his own age.
7. DO NOT speak too rapidly—this is very important. Remember, a child cannot comprehend ideas presented too rapidly. It takes time for him to sort out the ideas in statements and then more time to organize his responses to your speech. If your speech is too rapid, he may simply give up and decide that he can’t talk.
8. Provide your child with a variety of stimulating experiences. Language becomes more meaningful and essential as his experiences increase. Use simple language to describe experiences.
9. DO NOT force him to recite or speak his piece if this seems to upset him. Give him time to gain self-confidence.
10. Avoid the use of “baby talk”. It can retard the child’s natural speech development.
11. Read to the child everyday. Make this a part of your household schedule. Even when he is too young to understand the whole story, it is important that the child become aware of the listening act. Active rather than passive listening can be taught.
12. Take time to listen to your child when he has something to say. Don’t rush him—ask him about his daily activities and school affairs.

Ultimately you want to convey to your child that what he has to say is important and you enjoy listening to him. This is the best way to build his confidence as a speaker.

Source: Helping the Child to Listen and Talk, by Joan M. Sayre

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Susan M. Newton
Long Island Stuttering&
Speech Pathology
1023 Pulaski Road
East Northport, NY 11731
Phone: (631) 261-7740
Fax: (631)261-7741
Lillian Agresta-Diaz
3656 2nd Place SW
Vero Beach, FL 32968
Phone: (772) 584-3204
Fax: (772)584-3204
  • Articuiation / Phonology
  • Language Development
  • Auditory Processing
  • Adults & Children
  • Individual or Group
  • Family Focused Services