Since 1972, Beaumont has helped thousands of children with stuttering and other speech and language impairments to find their voices. Our highly trained Beaumont Children's speech and language therapy experts use advanced techniques to help children achieve maximum communication capability, functional capacity and social potential.
Specific treatment for stuttering will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
- your child's age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the condition
- your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the condition
- your opinion or preference
The goal of treatment is to focus on relearning how to speak, or to unlearn incorrect ways of speaking. Although there is no cure for stuttering, early intervention may keep stuttering from becoming a lifelong problem. Speech and language evaluation is suggested for children who exhibit stuttering or struggle with speech for more than six months.
When do speech difficulties become a concern?
Your child's doctor will make this determination with you and your child. The following are some of the warning signs that a child might have true stuttering or other speech problems and not just normal developmental difficulties:
- your child stutters after the age of 5
- your child is fearful of talking or does not talk
- there is a family history of stuttering
Managing Normal Developmental Speech Problems
It is important to remember that every child develops speech at different times. If your child is having speech problems, have your child's doctor involved in the evaluation of the child. The following are some suggestions to help with normal speech difficulties your child might have, and help to prevent the child from developing true stuttering difficulties:
- Encourage your child to talk to you about fun and easy topics in a non stressful place.
- Try to make talking fun or make it a game.
- Do not interrupt your child while he or she is speaking, even if the child is making mistakes or having trouble.
- Do not ask your child to repeat something you do not understand. Attempt to guess what the child is saying and continue on with the conversation.
- Do not have your child practice certain sounds or words. This will make the child uncomfortable about his or her speech.
- Do not try to slow your child's speaking. Try to talk with your child in a calm, quiet place and be a model of speaking slowly. Asking your child to slow down will only frustrate your child.
- Ask other adults not to correct your child's speech and do not talk about your child's speech problems in front of him or her.
- Listen attentively to your child.
- Wait for the child to say the words without saying them for him or her.
- Talk openly about the stuttering if the child brings up the subject.
- Avoid asking the child to speak for others.
Parent Involvement and Stuttering Treatment Overview
Parents are an important part of the Beaumont Children's speech and language therapy program from the very start. The first step for new patients is a diagnostic evaluation completed by specialized speech and language pathologists. These therapists then share the standardized test results with the parents. Diagnostic impressions and recommendations are discussed with parents and an individualized treatment program is developed for each child based upon parental input and the severity of the communication disorder.
We offer individual speech and language disorder treatment sessions up to three times a week until the child achieves his or her treatment goals. Parent observation and education continue throughout the treatment program. Home programs are designed to enhance the child's progress outside the clinic environment. Specialized group programs help each child practice new skills in a group setting, building confidence and advancing the child toward his or her goals.