Friday, March 22, 2013

Introducing: FAQ Fridays!

I've decided to start a new series on the blog called "FAQ Friday!"  Each Friday I'll take a speechie question that I get frequently asked by parents, teachers, friends, or other therapists.  Of course, I am not claiming to be an expert in every single aspect of the field, but I'll do my best to research and find some good links and answers to the questions I get asked.

Here's what I need from you: share your questions!  If you are a parent or teacher, what questions do you have about speech therapy?  If you are a therapist, what questions do you get asked often?  Feel free to comment on the blog posts with your questions or send them to me via email to

Today's question is brought to you by parents everywhere, especially the ones I come in contact with.  ;)
"Is my child's stuttering normal?"  Well, the short answer is...possibly.  Stuttering is typical for kids between the ages of 2 and 6 during their language "surge," as I like to call it.  Kids learn SO much language during their toddler years, and stuttering is often a sign that they are grasping this new language.  Their disfluencies are also likely to come and go, so you may not notice your child stuttering for a while. Then it might return a few months later.

However, there are some warning signs that your kiddo might need a speech or language evaluation.  Contact an SLP if your child:
  • Stutters frequently - more than 10% of the time.
  • Has visible tension in their face when they speak.
  • Has been stuttering continuously longer than 6 months.
  • Began stuttering after age 3-and-a-half.
  • Has family members that stutter.
If you have concerns or are worried about your child's speech, it'd be good to schedule a screening.  Many clinics offer speech screenings for a low price or even free!  Public schools also have SLPs on staff that you could contact.
Here is a risk-factors chart from to help determine if your child is at risk for stuttering.

There are also things you can do to help your child when they stutter at home.  Here are a few tips:
  • Speak slowly and calmly.
  • Refrain from interrupting your child and listen patiently to what he is saying.
  • Create a relaxed atmosphere.  We want to try to keep him from feeling rushed or like he has to hurry and speak in order to be heard.
  • Set aside some good one-on-one time with your child.  Show him you are interested in what he says rather than how he's saying it.   
  • Be involved with his teachers and SLP and ask for strategies and suggestions of things you can do at home.
  • Remember that overcoming stuttering is not easy.  There is no quick fix.  Always be encouraging and supportive.
Click here for a printable list of 7 tips and strategies to hand out to parents from

And here are a few helpful websites: The Stuttering Foundation, National Stuttering Association, StutterTalk

Well, that's it for my first FAQ!  Hope it helps some of you!  I'd love to hear how some of you other therapists respond to this question when asked.

Send in your questions for next week!  :)


  1. Thanks for the information. I print out the 7 tips for parents and the teacher information from the Stuttering Foundation several times a year. Like you said, I encourage parents to listen to the message, not the way the child says it.

    Oh, How Pintearesting!

    1. I love the Stuttering Foundation site too! It has tons of great resources! :)

  2. Well said, Lauren! FYI, Super Duper has a great (free) Handy Handout as well that's perfect for classroom teachers!

    1. Oh right! I forgot about those! Thanks, Carrie!

  3. Such a great post! Not sure if you are familiar with this organization but there is another national support group for young kids(extremely family and SLP friendly as well) called FRIENDS ( if anyone is looking for more support groups. They also have a e-mail pen pal thing set up so it's super cool!

    1. Thanks so much for the info! I'll have to be sure and check out that site. Love the pen pal idea :)


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