Box Hill Speech Pathology has expert clinicians who are very experienced in treating early and more advanced stuttering, and can help you discover how to stop stuttering.
What is stuttering?
Stuttering is a motor speech problem that causes a breakdown in the production and flow of speech. It usually begins when children are between 2 and 4 years old. Typically, people think of stuttering as being sound, word or phrase repetitions, for example ‘w-w-w-would you like to play?’. Can-can-can we go soon? / I really like, I really like, I really um like ice cream.’ However, stuttering can also present as stuck or blocked sound production. This can cause delays before speaking (sometimes with evident effort) or hesitations and pauses during conversations. Stuttering may also be characterised by stretching of sounds, called elongations, for example ‘Ca——-n we go soon?’
Many young children progress through a phase of being quite dysfluent, often when they are having a burst of language growth. However, these periods of dysfluency should not last long nor should they frequently recur. It can be difficult to determine if dysfluency is ‘normal’ or stuttering, so it is wise to obtain an experienced speech pathologist’s opinion if you are unsure. We can show you how to stop stuttering.
Should I wait and see if the stuttering resolves on its own?
Stuttering sometimes naturally resolves, however there is no evidence to tell us which children will recover naturally and which children will require formal treatment to stop stuttering. We do know that stuttering is more difficult to treat as children get older and that treatment is most effective if it is started prior to the child turning 6 years of age. Many factors will influence the decision of whether to ‘watch and wait’ or to treat immediately, and the speech pathologist will help you to make this decision at your first appointment.
What types of treatment are available? Do they work?
In Australia, the Lidcombe Program is considered best practice treatment for young children who stutter. The Lidcombe Program is essentially a parent training program, whereby parents are taught to provide carefully worded and well-timed feedback regarding their child’s speech during specific games and naturally occurring situations. The program is fun and simple to administer. Most children love coming to the clinic to play ‘smooth talking games’ and parents find it very empowering to be the direct therapist for their child.
More detailed information regarding this program, download the guide:Download the Lidcombe Program Guide
Speech Restructuring, sometimes called ‘Smooth Speech’, ‘Prolonged Speech’ or ‘The Camperdown Program’ teaches people who stutter to use a slightly altered speech style to control their stuttering. Speech restructuring effectively reduces stuttering but requires accurate self-monitoring and attention to the technique at all times. It is rarely the treatment of choice for very young children, but may be used in combination with the Lidcombe Program for older children.
What should I do if I think my child is stuttering?
Box Hill Speech Pathology offers assessment and diagnosis services for children who are suspected to be stuttering. Contact the clinic and arrange an appointment to see one of our specialist speech pathologists to find out how to stop stuttering. While you are waiting for an appointment, you may like to consider the following:
- How long has the stuttering been present? Has it gone away and then recurred? How many times has it gone away?
- Can you describe the stuttering? What characteristics do you notice, for example repetitions (how many times? On words/sounds/syllables?), sound stretching or blocking?
- How would you score the stuttering on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is no stuttering and 10 is the worst stuttering you could ever imagine for any child? Would the stuttering have the same score each day and through the day, or vary? Keep a record of your scores while you await your appointment.
- If possible, record your child speaking on a few different occasions, particularly if they are stuttering. Bring this recording with you to the appointment.
Skype that stutter
We are pleased to introduce our Skype based services, which is a convenient and effective method of providing therapy to those clients who may find it difficult to attend the clinic in person. Mr Vincent Borg, our leading specialist in stuttering therapy, is available to provide Skype based therapy from the clinic to help you stop stuttering. Research to date has shown that Skype based therapy is as successful as face to face in house therapy, and it also allows some clients who would otherwise be unable to access services the chance to do so from the comfort of their own home. Telephone consultations are also available for those who do not have access to Skype.
Appointments can be made by phoning the clinic on (03) 9899 5494 during business hours, or via email at email@example.com