Stammering in children is incredibly common; kids are just learning a very complicated language that will take years to master and sometimes they make mistakes when they are speaking.
Sometimes they repeat or stumble over words because they are over excited, but as common as this is, it can occasionally be a sign of something more serious.
Knowing the difference between struggling with words and stammering can be tricky but there are some easy ways to tell whether your child’s speech problems require professional attention.
Look for patterns in the stammer, if it only happens when they are excited, angry, scared or upset, this may not be a serious problem and it might sort itself out.
If there are no patterns in the speech problems and the stammer seems to be fairly constant then this could be the sign of an underlying problem. Seeking professional help could not do any harm,; it is better to get help and not really need it, than to not get it when you do need it.
If your child avoids speaking wherever possible then this could be a sign of a stammer, children with stammers are very conscious that their speech is not the same as everyone else’s and they may well be getting bullied for it, so they will avoid speaking to avoid being made fun of or looking silly.
If they get frustrated with themselves when they speak, then it might be time to seek professional help, frustration in children can be incredibly unhealthy if it is left untreated.
They are becoming frustrated because they can’t communicate properly and if both of these problems are left without treatment, then they could become much more serious, the stammer could get worse and the frustration could turn into aggression.
Try not to get frustrated with your child, if you do then this will make things much worse than they already are. Yelling at them will be totally counter-productive and will make them more nervous which in turn, will make the stammer worse.
You will need to observe your child’s speech patterns carefully in order to ascertain whether or not there is a serious problem because a child’s speech changes rapidly over the course of just a few months. But if you think that there is a problem, you should consult a professional.
The longer a stammer is left untreated, the harder it will be to treat. Catching the problem early will make it easier for you and your child to cope with and minimize the possibility of long term psychological impact.