What is stuttering?
Stuttering is when speech is ‘bumpy’ or just hard to get out!
It can involve repetitions of sounds (b-b-bunny), syllables (bun-bun-bunny), words (bunny-bunny-bunny) and phrases (I have a – I have a bunny rabbit).
In more severe cases it can also involve blocking (where no sound is coming out despite attempting to talk) and prolongations (bunnnny). Sometimes stuttering results in other behaviours such as using other words to avoid ‘tricky’ words, grimacing or avoiding talking in public.
What can I do to help my child?
The Lidcombe Program is the ‘best practice’ stuttering treatment for children under 6 years of age (1). This means that it has research to support its use as the most effective way to treat stuttering for these children. In therapy sessions using the Lidcombe Program approach, parents are taught how to best help their child to speak smoothly while having fun together.
For more information on stuttering and therapy, please see this information sheet (in PDF) from Speech Pathology Australia.
(1) Jones, M., Onslow, M., Packman, A., Williams, S., Ormond, T., Schwarz, I., et al. (2005). Randomised controlled trial of the Lidcombe Programme of early stuttering intervention. British Medical Journal, 331, 659-661