How can speech therapy help my child

The BSA can help you to learn more about supporting the older child. It can put you in touch with a speech and language therapist in your area, who specialises in stammering and has access to all the latest information and types of therapy available.

Early Intervention by a speech and language therapist gives the best chance of recovery from stammering, but the BSA knows from parents and therapists that a minority of children will continue to stammer, even though they have received therapy at a young age. Sometimes parents find this hard to come to terms with because they worry that if their child continues to stammer it will hold them back in school and make it hard for them to develop good social skills. When you feel anxious like this it is very important to take advice from a therapist and contact the BSA:Helpline to talk with someone who understands how you feel.

Speech and language therapy is always helpful for any child whose stammer is causing him problems. While Early Intervention gives the best chance of recovery, such is the unpredictable nature of stammering that less commonly recovery has been known to take place at an older age. Even if fluency is never achieved, parents should continue to take advice from a therapist and the BSA, as modern approaches can help the child to maintain his confidence and self-esteem, even though he is continuing to stammer.

There is no guaranteed 'cure' for stammering. However, therapy will help your child to develop ways to speak more fluently and to understand how to make progress by learning what to do when things feel difficult. Therapists help with dealing with issues at school, with friends, and encourage him to work out what helps him. This gives him confidence and gives him tools for dealing with situations that may worry him.

Stammering can affect every part of your child's life. This is why speech therapy must address every angle: helping your child to help himself in developing confidence, social skills, self-awareness, speech fluency and problem-solving strategies. While your child will probably have individual sessions with the therapist, there is often an opportunity for him to attend an intensive course during the school holidays for instance. Often parents, and even the class teacher are invited to attend during the course and this sense of all working together can feel very supportive for your child.

As long as a child is supported at home and school, with advice from a therapist as needed, then he can achieve to the level of his potential. There are many examples of successful achievers in all walks of life to prove that stammering need not hold you back.

Click on the following links to open a PDF, use the back button on your browser to return to this resource. To save the handout to your computer, right click and choose 'Save as'.

Text for this page: How can speech therapy help my child
Text for this whole section: When your child continues to stammer