Stuttering in Preschool Children-Fluency shaping techniques

When parents see their young preschool child stutters, it is a cause for alarm for many parents.  Parents who are concerned should consult with a  SLP, at their resident school district, to determine if their child is exhibiting developmental stuttering or may have signs of more severe, chronic stuttering. A trained SLP will have a better idea of how to advise you, and if therapy is needed to address the stuttering.  Often, when children are demonstrating patterns of stuttering, I will begin with the following strategy with students and parents: reduced speech rate (slow, turtle talk) and prolonged speech (stretching out words, especially the vowels).  I will ask parents to model a slower rate of speech, where words are stretched out.  Parents are advised to listen to the content of their child’s speech, not interrupt, and not verbally critique the child’s speech.  These are good beginning points for many preschool aged children, however getting a professional evaluation from an SLP is the best way to figure out what the best strategies are for you child.