Stammering is a speech problem and it results in low self esteem and low confidence levels in the child. Children should be made to overcome stammering by figuring out the reasons. Here are some tips to overcome stammer.
Practical tips to help you or your child overcome stammer.
We have seen various causes of stammering and how a speech therapist can help with this condition. Here are some practical tips to help you or your child overcome his stammer.
First, realise that you or your child doesn't have to be fluent all the time. Some form of stammering affects almost everyone in varying degrees. Even who you perceive as fluent speakers may say words like 'ah' or 'er' every now and again. Others repeat the same word a few times before carrying on, while others stammer or fumble over certain words.
If you or your child stammers, you should aim on trying to reduce the amount of stammering, not on completely getting rid of it.
Slow down. Although there are people that speak fast all the time anyway, most people rush their words when nervous. People who stammer usually do get nervous when speaking to others, and this causes them to speak faster than normal. When their fast speech is coupled with stammering, their words get more even incoherent, and they may have to repeat themselves to make themselves understood. This naturally affects their confidence still further, worsening the stammering. It is a vicious circle. So if your child stammers, he should consciously try to slow down his speech. It doesn't matter if he speaks slowly - he will get more across.
If your child stammers while speaking to you, never interrupt him or finish off the sentence for him. Don't show impatience. Listen to him calmly and let him complete what he is saying, by himself.
Maintain eye contact with your child when he is speaking. Looking away will give the impression that you are not listening to what he is saying.
Don't make him repeat certain words if he stumbles over them. He may repeat them fine this time, but it's not going to help him for the next time.
Don't tell your child to take a deep breath before starting or to think about what he is going to say before saying it. These things don't help.
Make your child read out a paragraph from a book aloud everyday. Reading out something is easier from speaking impromptu because you don't have to form the thoughts before saying something out aloud.
Encourage your child to speak as often as possible. Invite your friends over and let your child speak to them for a while before going to his room.
Don't get frustrated with your stammering. If you are in a situation which makes you nervous, instead of shutting up completely ask questions of the other person. In this manner you are doing most of the listening and not that much talking, until you warm up a little to the person or the conversation.
Don't try and distract the person from your stammering by making exaggerated body movements. You can move your hands around a little - it may help you get your point across - but don't try and hide your stammer. Accept that you stammer, and admit it in conversation so you don't feel compelled to hide it. Let the other person know that you are working on improving it.
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- The Indiaparenting Team