Information courtesy Jill Hawks a speech-language pathologist at STRIDE Learning Center.
What is stuttering? Stuttering is a disruption in the flow of speech (fluency) that can include:
1. Syllable and word repetitions (I-I-I want to go),
2. sound prolongations (mmmmmmmommy)
3. and air blockage
*These disruptions interfere with the speaker's ability to effectively communicate the message.
What are "typical disfluencies?"
-Disfluencies tend to come and go when a child is tired, excited, talking about complex ideas and/or asking/answering questions
-May be unaware of disfluencies in own speech
-Peers may be unaware as well
-Sounds, syllables and short words repeated three or more times
-Repetitions occur frequently
-Prolongations and blockages more frequent
-May be associated with secondary characteristics such as eyelid closing, looking away/down, or show tension in muscles near the mouth. Volume and pitch may change during stuttering
-As children get older (later preschool, early elementary) may start to show awareness of disfluencies, concern, embarrassment, frustration, fear of speaking. May avoid certain speaking situations.
What can we do?
-Contact a speech-language pathologist if concerned about stuttering
-Listen to what your child is saying not how they are saying it.
-Use your own speech as a model/example by slowing down your rate of speech. Add pauses into your slow speech as well.