Resources / Speech & Language / Stuttering

This section will provide parent, caregiver and teachers with pertinent information and resources about preschool stuttering. The videos, websites and handouts will help to explain what is stuttering, when to be concerned and how to help the child by offering useful strategies.

VIDEO: Does Your Preschooler Stutter? (Part 1 of 2)

Are you concerned that your child might be stuttering? In this introductory video, Marlene describes different types of stuttering behaviour and also talks about when it develops and when to seek help. This is part 1 of a 2-part series.

If you live in York Region and are concerned that your child is stuttering, please call 1-888-703-KIDS (5437) to make a referral.

  1. What is Stuttering? The forward flow of speech is disrupted by:
    1. Repetitions
    2. Prolongations
    3. Blocks
  2. Sound and Syllable Repetitions
  3. Prolongations or Stretching out sounds
  4. Block or being stuck and not able to get the word out
  5. When does Stuttering Start?
    1. The child goes through a language spurt
    2. The child starts connecting words
    3. It can start gradually
    4. It can start suddenly
  6. Some children are unaware of stuttering.
  7. Some children become aware of their stuttering may:
    1. Show signs of distress
    2. Child says “I can’t get words out”
    3. Tense, struggle and push or force out the words
    4. Avoid speaking
    5. Avoids saying words
  8. Seek out immediate help if child shows signs of Tension or Awareness
  9. Stuttering can be cyclical or “comes and goes”
  10. Stuttering can be variable or wax and wane. It can rang from severe to absent in a short period of time.
  11. Many strategies to help children who stutter – see video #2
  12. 7 Tips for talking to the child who stutters – see speech and language resources tab

VIDEO – 7 Tips for Talking with the Child Who Stutters

The video discusses 7 important Tips or Guidelines for talking and interacting with your child who stutters and the handout can be printed.

Different approaches to intervention for preschool children who stutter

At CDP, the initial approach to supporting children who stutter and their families, regardless of severity, is indirect therapy or parent education and training.

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children

In Britain, stuttering is referred to as stammering. Stuttering and stammering refer to the same speech difficulty so there is no difference between the two terms. This excellent website has resources for parents, older children, teachers and clinicians.

The Stuttering Center of Western Pennsylvania

The Stuttering Foundation has many excellent resources for parents, caregivers, teachers and people who stutter.

VIDEO: Does Your Preschooler Stutter? (Part 2 of 2)

Are you looking for ways to support your child who is stuttering? In this video, Marlene shares many practical tips and suggestions that you can use every day to help your child become more fluent. This is part 2 of a 2-part series.

If you live in York Region and are concerned that your child is stuttering, please call 1-888-703-KIDS (5437) to make a referral.

Strategies to help you child by reducing demands/pressures on speech and support fluency

  1. Be patient.
  2. Listen to What is said, not How it is said
  3. Repeat or rephrase – let them know you heard them
  4. Do not interrupt or finish their words
  5. Be face to face and at their level
  6. Avoid correcting the stuttering such as “slow down” or “stop and think”
  7. Slow down your speech by pausing between phrases
  8. Pause before responding to your child
  9. Model language that is appropriate for your child’s age or simplify language
  10. Refrain from asking a lot of questions.
  11. Do not tell your child to talk
  12. Wait for them to answer a questions before asking another question
  13. Replace questions with comments and Wait
  14. Ask choice OR yes/no questions
  15. Do not correct speech sound errors OR grammar. Model instead!
  16. Encourage good turn taking.
  17. Reduce time pressure or slow down the pace of life to help your child by:
    1. Make sure child’s schedule is not too busy
    2. Down time between activities
    3. Have your child participate in fewer activities
    4. Setting up routines making life more predictable
  18. Make time to talk and play with your child. Take 5 minutes a day to play and talk with your child.

VIDEO – Stuttering and Your Child: Help for Parents

An excellent 30 minute video for parents, with examples of children stuttering, parent experiences and strategies from experts.

Please note: This video has some therapy options that are different from those offered by the York Region Preschool Speech and Language Program. Nevertheless, the principles remain relevant to parents in York Region.