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Ask A Speechie – I think my child is stuttering. What should I do?

June 25, 2018
Ask A Speechie – I think my child is stuttering. What should I do?

This Ask A Speechie question is answered by Speech Pathologist Anna Woodburn.

Question: I think my child is stuttering. What should I do?

If you think your child is stuttering, you are most likely right! Stuttering is common and usually starts between the ages of 2 and 4. Onset may be gradual or sudden. There is currently no known cause of stuttering but the research suggests that there may be a genetic link. Stuttering is regarded as being a physical disorder and is not caused by psychological factors or parenting practices. Stuttering impacts on a child’s communication, and often their emotional well-being, so it is important to commence immediate intervention to prevent long-term effects.

Your first step is to make a phone call to a Speech Pathologist. They will ask questions about the onset, characteristics, patterns, and severity of your child’s stutter. In most cases, a formal assessment will be recommended, so that the Speech Pathologist is able to observe your child talking, listening and playing, in order to obtain a broader communication profile and determine the best intervention approach.

If you would like more information about stuttering and evidence-based treatment approaches for children of different ages, please refer to the University of Sydney’s Australian Stuttering Research Centre website or ring Melbourne Child Development and ask to speak to a Speech Pathologist.