3 popular stuttering treatment tips to watch out for

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3 popular stuttering treatment tips to watch out for

Successful stuttering treatment is so important because the longer your child continues to stutter, the more difficult it can be to treat.

This article will cover three popular stuttering treatment techniques that could potentially be setting your child back in their stuttering journey.

 Stuttering treatment advice that could be setting your child back:

  1. Avoid talking to your child about their stuttering

Sometimes, it can be recommended to avoid talking to your child about their stuttering.

On the contrary, talking to your child about their stuttering is actually really beneficial for your child on their stuttering journey. Often when I talk to a child about their stuttering for the first time, and ask them how it feels to get stuck with their words, they feel really relieved.

It is very comforting for a child to know that their parents can sympathise with the struggle they are facing – and then talk openly about working together to help them get their words out more successfully.

  1. Excessive praise is important

A recently published research article has found that large amounts of praise for fluent or smooth talking does not necessarily make treatment more successful. In fact, it was found that stuttering treatment is more successful if the child receives more feedback for their stutters. This is because even a child with a severe stutter who stutters, say, 20% of the time still talks “smoothly” (or without a stutter) 80% of the time. We therefore do not need to teach a child how to speak smoothly – this is, in fact, their default way of speaking.

You wouldn’t frequently praise a child for chewing their food – this is something your child does automatically. You might give them feedback if they were spitting out their food or throwing it on the table, by asking them to chew instead. This analogy can be applied to stuttering treatment.

  1. Focus on stuttering treatment at a specific time during the day

The recommendation to provide feedback for your child’s stuttering or smooth speech during a short 10 or 15 minute interval, once a day, is very common.

Often parents who I work with, who have received other stuttering treatment previously, describe that working on stuttering with their child for a short time interval each day feels counter-intuitive to them. Not to mention, the additional burden placed on busy parents to find daily 1:1 time with your child – to complete a structured talking activity.

If your child was struggling with another task, such as holding a pencil – you wouldn’t ignore this throughout the day, and only help them to correct this pencil grip for 10 minutes a day. Therefore, I always recommend to parents to follow their intuition – the more feedback and support you can give your child, the less opportunity they have to “practise” their stuttering and the more empowered you feel by supporting them in a naturalistic and low pressure manner throughout the day.

Flexible stuttering treatment works

If any of the above techniques are working well for your child, please don’t worry about changing them. It is only the techniques that you feel could be stopping your child from making progress in stuttering treatment that you should be aware of.

A flexible treatment tailored to suit each child and family, that also combines a range of treatment techniques from a variety of evidence based treatment programs, is often most effective to help reduce your child’s stuttering as quickly and effectively as possible.

Dr Kerianne Druker has developed an online Stuttering Toolkit, which steps you through practical stuttering treatment techniques that are flexible and effective in overcoming your child’s stuttering disorder. Learn more!

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