We all have times when we demonstrate difficulty trying to speak smoothly. We may add "uh" or "like " when we are speaking to others. Sometimes, we may even say a sound or word more than once. These dysfluencies may be considered completely normal if they happen every once in a while. When it happens a lot, it may be stuttering. 

People who stutter with speech can experiences changes from day to day. Stress or excitement can lead to more stuttering. 



Fluency activities you can do at home: -Allow your child to have some time to think about what they will talk about. 

-Have your child tell about an activity you just completed together (cooking, playing games, playing outside).  Talk about ways to improve fluency such as slowing down, planning the story before telling, making a list of key details to tell about the story.


Fluency Skills, How Parents Can Help A Child Who Stutters:


1. Model slow, natural sounding speech. Placing visual cues in the house help the

adults remember to model the desirable behavior and follow the below guidelines. For

example, one family placed red stickers on the refrigerator, car, vanity mirror, and the

door they most frequently entered the home through. Seeing the visual cue reminds

the adults to behave in a manner conducive to reinforcing fluency. You adults can

learn “new tricks!”


2. Pause for one second before responding to child’s remark- especially if they are

experiencing disfluency. This maintains the slow exchange, and helps to compensate

for the fact that the child’s language is less developed than the adult’s. Remember that

your modeling of slow rate can influence their behavior.


3. With young children, use less sophisticated language so that the child can “keep

Up.”


4. Remember that language is about 70% nonverbal, and your facial expressions can

say a million words! Children can interpret many facial expressions before 12 months of

age. Model a relaxed, patient, and supportive expression when your child is speaking.


5. If the child is experiencing a moment of relatively severe stuttering, phrase your

questions to require a one-word or phrase response. For example: “is spaghetti o.k. for

dinner?” vs. “what do you want for dinner?” The intent is to avoid reinforcing the

stuttering and to do so in a passive manner.


6. Reduce time pressure from a child's lifestyle the best you can. Time pressure in

the morning to get up, get dressed, eat, and get to school is an example of a lifestyle

issue that places the child under time pressure. Time pressure can result in more

stuttering. Structure and a schedule can be helpful here.


7. If the child is really struggling, you may feel compelled to acknowledge the

struggle by saying something such as: “it seems like you were having a tough time

talking right there.” This reassures the child that you’re aware of the difficulty, without

giving advice. Further, it uses past tense (you were) in an effort to invite the child to

encode this event as done. Using “you are” is present tense and suggests present and

future difficulty. Stuttering need not be taboo to discuss, yet artfulness is key to

supporting your child with an often perplexing problem.