In the past several years, speech pathologists have decided to leave the “wait and see” era of fluency treatment behind us. With this change in perspective, we have begun to usher in a more proactive approach, where clinicians are providing therapy to young pre-school aged children with wonderful results. Therapy for the young child often focuses on educating families on stuttering so that they can confidently monitor their child’s speech. Families are also being trained in ways to alter the environment to enhance fluency. Unlike past generations, you’ll be hard pressed to find a fluency specialist who tells parents to “ignore” the child’s stuttering as we no longer subscribe to the idea that speaking about stuttering around a child will cause harm.
Thank goodness parents no longer are being told to sit by and watch their child struggle without providing them ways to help! The Stuttering Foundation of America recently produced a video that discusses the things parents can do to assist their child who stutters. As you watch, do not beat yourself up if you have been handling things differently than the therapists suggest. There are a number of different variables that are thought to interact in order to cause the onset of stuttering. By not initially following these suggestions you did not cause your child to stutter, however these environmental changes will help reduce time pressure and language demands so that your child can speak more freely!
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