stuttering therapy for preschoolers and toddlers

 

Stuttering Therapy for Preschool Children

stuttering in toddlersFor so many years, it has been common for parents to take the “wait and see” approach when a preschool-aged child begins to stutter. Pediatricians, family members, and even speech therapists often tell parents that “it’s just a phase,” and “he’ll likely outgrow it.” Many children do outgrow their stuttering, but we do not know which children will and will not continue to stutter. What we do know, is there are many risk factors that can put a child more at risk of continued stuttering:

  • Family history of stuttering
  • Time since the onset of the stuttering (more than three to six months)
  • Delayed or imbalanced speech and language skills
  • Other co-occurring speech, language, emotional, psychological, or physical delays/disorders
  • Consistency of the frequency and type of stuttering
  • Frustration with or awareness of his/her stuttering

In addition, children with any of the following personality traits may be more at risk of continued stuttering.

  • Perfectionistic
  • Highly sensitive
  • Highly reactive (i.e., reacting strongly or over-reacting when hurt/upset)
  • Has a hard time calming down when upset

Research and clinical experience has led us to believe that early intervention can actually increase a child’s chance of recovering from stuttering. However, we don’t know exactly which children will not naturally outgrow their stuttering. So, it is our aim to identify which children appear more at risk of continued stuttering, and to give them the best opportunity possible to recover from stuttering as quickly as possible. If a child is not on a path to outgrowing her stuttering, we may be able to help set her on a different course.

If your preschool child is stuttering, we strongly suggest you speak to a speech-language pathologist with expertise in pediatric stuttering. An evaluation or consultation may be in order. Clinicians (speech-language pathologists) at the American Institute for Stuttering regularly attend and present at professional conferences, workshops and seminars, and are well educated in the most current practices in evaluating and treating children who stutter. Because of this expertise, they are able to personalize evaluation and intervention strategies to meet the individual needs of each child and his/her family.

stuttering in preschoolersMost of the families with preschool children whom we serve attend weekly sessions. Following an initial evaluation along with parent education and counseling, therapy is conducted regularly and consistently and parents and caretakers are integrally involved. Periodic parent support nights are offered to all parents of the children we see in addition to a Parents Yahoo! Group, which provides an environment for parents to receive mutual support.

Concerned parents can contact us and we will be happy to advise you. If you live in the New York tri-state area, an appointment for an evaluation may be made. Assessments can be made without the obligation of enrolling in speech therapy. If you are from outside the New York area, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation either by phone or internet-streaming video. Such a session can be extremely helpful towards your understanding of stuttering and what is going on with your child.

For now, here is a document that we've created for parents and caregivers of young children who stutter. These are actions you can take to help your child immediately. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to open the document. We are also happy to assist you in locating a specialist in your area.

Other Resources

In addition, we highly recommend getting information from the various other organizations for stuttering. The National Stuttering Association is a national self-help organization and has excellent materials available. We highly recommend a book published by the NSA called Young Children Who Stutter. Friends, the Association for Young People who Stutter is a wonderful resource for support and information. And lastly, The Stuttering Homepage is a vast website of information.

American Institute for Stuttering
27 W 20th St. Suite 1203
New York, NY 10011

phone: (212) 633-6400
fax: (212) 220-3922

Subscribe to the AIS Newsletter

Specialized Therapy

For Teens

One-Week Intensive Program
Our most comprehensive group therapy option. For new clients.

Individual Therapy
One-on-one weekly therapy with a specialized clinician. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Refresher Therapy
Former/current AIS clients have various group therapy options to refresh their skills, including evening courses and one-day refreshers.

Client Workshops
Group therapy workshops on specialized topics. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Teen Group
Weekly support group for teens 13–17.

hide

For Adults

3-Week Intensive Program
Our most comprehensive group therapy option. For new clients.

Evening Courses
Convenient group therapy courses in the evening. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Individual Therapy
One-on-one weekly therapy with a specialized clinician. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

Refresher Therapy
Former/current AIS clients have various group therapy options to refresh their skills, including evening courses and one-day refreshers.

Client Workshops
Group therapy workshops on specialized topics. For new clients and former/current AIS clients.

hide

For Children

Individual Therapy
One-on-one weekly therapy with a specialized clinician. For new and former AIS clients.

Kids Group
Supportive and fun group therapy for children.

Preschoolers
What to do if your child starts stuttering.

hide

Parents' Guide

Here is a document of guidelines for parents/caregivers of young children who stutter.

Adobe PDF

Connect with AIS

Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goole Plus for the latest updates on AIS and stuttering.

© 1998-2014 The American Institute for Stuttering
27 West 20th Street Suite 1203 New York, NY 10011
1-877-3STUTTER  www.stutteringtreatment.org