Children ages 6 and under who stutter.
A comprehensive evaluation of the motor-speech system.
Play-based exercises to improve fluent speech.
Open Lines™’ Toddler Stuttering Program
The Smooth Operators
Some children struggle to get their words out smoothly and may experience multiple interruptions in the flow of their speech. These difficulties can negatively affect a child’s ability to clearly and efficiently communicate their messages, and this can lead to frustration, anxiety, and reduced communicative confidence.
Why Is My Child Stuttering?
Stuttering refers to a repeated interruption in the flow of speech. Sometimes it involves repetitions of a sound, syllable, or word. It can also sound like a hesitation before speaking, a prolongation of a sound, or a stoppage or blocking of air or voice in the middle of speaking. Children who experience issues with stuttering may also have an unusually fast or slow rate of speech, which may be used as a strategy to improve fluency. Many children who stutter also experience excessive tension, struggle behaviors, and secondary mannerisms, such as blinking while talking.
The definitive cause of stuttering remains unknown. However, it usually starts in childhood— usually by 3 years old— and can range in severity from mild to moderate or severe. You may also notice the severity of your child’s stuttering fluctuates from day to day or according to the situation or speaker. The way in which children stutter may also vary over time.
Despite the considerable variability in stuttering, research indicates it is important to begin treatment of stuttering soon after it begins, ideally during the preschool years to optimize recovery outcomes.
How to Help a Toddler Who Is Stuttering
At Open Lines™, your child’s course of treatment begins with a one-on-one, comprehensive evaluation of your child’s motor speech system with an expertly-trained, licensed speech-language pathologist (SLP).
Results of the evaluation will help your SLP determine the type and severity of stuttering your child is experiencing and will consider the impact of your child’s stuttering on their day-to-day activities and communicative confidence. We use this information to design a personalized treatment plan, integrating personally-relevant and targeted exercises to optimize your child’s speech as quickly as possible to give them the confidence they need to speak in any situation.
Speech Therapy for Children Who Stutter
A specific, evidence-based program for children under the age of 6 is individually tailored to your child’s specific needs. This approach helps children increase awareness of “smooth” vs. “bumpy speech” and develop greater control of fluent speech in the context of play and everyday conversational contexts.
Caregiver coaching and training is an essential aspect of this program. Our specialists closely work with parents to help them learn to apply techniques within daily structured play to eliminate stuttering. You will learn how to provide effective feedback and follow through with a daily home exercise program to ensure long-term success.
Ultimately, this program will help your child overcome stuttering and prevent it from becoming a chronic issue throughout his or her life.
We examine the whole picture and incorporate relaxation and mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques combined with counseling to address confidence when speaking so your child can make friends more easily, hold conversations with peers and family, be comfortable in the classroom, and achieve their full potential.
Treating Toddler Stuttering Disorders at Open Lines™
Contact Open Lines™ today by phone at 212-430-6800, by email at [email protected], or through our contact form. If you are ready to take the next steps in treating your toddler’s stuttering disorder, request an appointment to discuss your goals and review our service options.