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Stammering
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: My daughter is a very smart kid and had started speaking very early and very fluently in English. She has achieved all her milestones on time or earlier. Since the past month I have noticed her stuttering on a few words especially the Wa sound or Ya sound. I have been worried about it as whenever I have corrected her, she starts stuttering even more. But I have noticed that when I stopped reminding her and ignore her stammer, she still stammers, but much less. Also, she stammers in the beginning of sentences only. She is able to speak long sentences and has a good vocabulary. I am worried since she was speaking so well and fluently and all of a sudden she has started stammering on words like why, what, where etc. I would like to know if he will overcome it and if we can do something to correct it.

Piya (Muscat, Middle East)

A: Stuttering is a common problem at this age. Sometimes it is due to stress. It is best to ignore random episodes of stuttering. Your child will overcome the problem naturally. If you insist on correcting it, your child becomes conscious and starts stuttering more.


Q: My child is 2 years old. She had started speaking when she was 9 months old and can speak short sentences. Last month she started stuttering. In India, we always spoke to her in Hindi and she doesn't know English. Could this be the reason, as English is the only language spoken here.

Sakshi (Philadelphia, USA)

A: Stuttering is usually an indication of stress. It has nothing to do with language learning skills. Do not try to correct minor mistakes. She will get over the problem. Please start conversing with her in English as well.

Dr. Subba Rao


Q: My son is in the 1st standard and stammers a lot while speaking. He wants to talk, but due to his stammering, he cannot. Please help me solve this problem.

Andie (Philadelphia, Middle East )

A: If the stammering is severe, you will have to take intensive therapy for your son since he is already 5 years old. Until the time that you start therapy, here are a few guidelines: 1. Do not interrupt him when he is speaking, let him complete his word even if he stammers. Be very relaxed listeners. Give him full attention when he is speaking. 2. Do not use the label stammering at the moment. 3. Don't ask him too many questions, which need too much description. 4. Speak to him at a slow rate and using simple sentences. 5. Read to him stories when you are relaxed so that you don't get interrupted (assign a slot for telling him stories everyday). Let him also read out to your from a book. 6. Do not compare him with other children for any of his activities no negative comparisons. 7. Do not force him to speak in front of guests and friends and relatives. 8. Do not have heated arguments in the presence of your child.

Dr. Maya Sanghi, Speech Pathol


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