Saturday, June 23, 2012

Stuttering in 2-Year-Olds: How Parents Can Help

Stuttering in 2-year-olds is not uncommon. This speech impediment typically begins between the ages of two and four or around the time when children start to speak in short phrases. Children who experience stuttering know what they want to say but have difficulty saying the words clearly and fluently. As a parent, there are many ways by which you can help your child while he is going through this condition.

Be patient. Concentrate on what your child is saying, not how it is said. Remember that the message is more important than the stuttering. Maintain eye contact when your child is struggling with his words. Don't interrupt and don't try to finish his sentences because he will only get more frustrated.

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Be supportive. Respond to the condition as you would to any other difficulty your child is going through. Don't criticize and don't automatically correct him every time he stutters. Encourage him when he gets frustrated.

Stuttering in 2-Year-Olds: How Parents Can Help

After your child has spoken, repeat what he said in a slow and unhurried manner, using some of his own words. For example, if he said, "I w-w-w-want to go h-h-home", you can gently reply, "Oh, you want to go home? Okay, we will go home now." Use short and simple sentences when speaking to your child.

If you notice that you speak quite fast, slow down. Pause before responding. Ask a question at a time and give your child ample time to answer.

Every day for an hour or so, step away from your hectic lifestyle and give your child your full attention. Spend some quality time with him in a relaxed environment. Play, read, or simply talk to each other. Take measures to lessen or eliminate stresses from your toddler's life. Stuttering in 2-year-olds is aggravated by a rushed lifestyle. Make sure that your child follows a daily routine and that he eats a well-balanced diet and gets enough sleep.

Stuttering in 2-year-olds is sometimes not really stuttering. At this age, kids have so much to say that their limited vocabulary will not allow them to. Parents may confuse this inability or difficulty in verbal expression for stuttering; however, this awkward groping for words is a completely natural phase in a child's development. To their relief, parents usually find that what they thought was stuttering in 2-year-olds is merely a stage in the learning of good language skills. If this is the case, you can expect your child to show improvement in fluency within the next few months. Around 80 percent of kids who begin to "stutter" eventually stop.

However, if your child is diagnosed with stuttering, don't lose hope. It is more likely that stuttering in 2-year-olds will gradually disappear than turn into a chronic problem. If you're a parent dealing with stuttering in your toddler, follow the advice given above and consult a speech pathologist.

Stuttering in 2-Year-Olds: How Parents Can Help

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