When children are learning to speak, they frequently stutter. As a parent, it’s wise to spot the difference between typical speech development hurdles and chronic stuttering. Knowing what is and isn’t typical means you’re more likely to know when it’s best to have your child evaluated.
Stuttering is usually noticeable in children between the ages of 24 months and five years. Without speech therapy, most young children who begin stuttering will grow out of it.
If your child has been stuttering for more than six months, they’re less likely to grow out of it on their own, and that’s where speech therapy can help. Parents don’t have to wait six months before seeking professional insight.
At PediaPlex, our multifaceted team of professionals, which includes speech therapists, stands prepared to help your child communicate clearly and feel better.
Is my child’s stuttering typical?
As young children learn to talk, they may stumble over words, raising concern for parents wanting to know if their child’s speech pattern is typical. Fluent speech takes a little time and practice for children to master. It’s typical for children between the ages of two and five to repeat words or phrases, and more common when children are excited or tired.
During this age, children are developing rapidly, and their understanding of language is expanding. Stuttering goes away for most young children in a short period as they learn to speak fluently.
However, getting help from a speech therapist provides the best outcome in reducing stuttering, so it’s a good idea to know what is typical and what isn’t.
Spotting atypical speech patterns
It’s typical for young children to repeat phrases and use sounds, such as “um.” However, children who repeat syllables, draw out sounds (ssssssstop) or have observable tension or struggle speaking, are at a higher risk for chronic stuttering. Observe your child’s reaction when speaking; children who show frustration with speaking may struggle and need help.
Stuttering assessment and diagnosis
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) specialize in evaluating speech and language issues. During a typical assessment, our specialist will observe your child in various speaking situations, evaluate your child's developmental milestones, and consider factors such as a family history of stuttering. This comprehensive approach ensures that we tailor recommendations to your child's unique situation.
Speech therapy for pediatric stuttering
For many children, speech therapy is a turning point in managing and, in some cases, completely overcoming their stutter. Children attending speech therapy feel more confident speaking, which carries over into their school and social lives.
Speech therapy sessions are individualized based on your child’s comprehensive assessment and take age and personality into account. Over time, with consistent therapy and a nurturing environment, many children achieve notable improvements.
Getting help for your child’s stuttering
If you’re concerned about your child's speech, a good starting point is your child’s pediatrician. Discuss your concerns and get a professional opinion about your child’s stuttering. Your pediatrician can help determine the appropriate course of action and may recommend close monitoring or agree that a comprehensive evaluation by a speech-language pathologist is the best next step.
Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re concerned about your child’s speech pattern. You can call us or go online to schedule a consultation at one of our offices in Southlake, Fort Worth, or Frisco, Texas.