How the family can help

Remember the simple tips

Happy talking

Build talking together into all your routines as appropriate to his age: out walking, at mealtimes, when watching television, at bath times and bed times, for example. Make conversation part of the pattern of family life. This will build up your child's confidence in talking because he is learning that his talking is valued even when he is stammering.

Speaking and listening in the family

Children who stammer can be very sensitive to the speaking and attitudes of other family members. They may feel harassed by a fast pace of talking by sisters and brothers particularly if they find it hard to keep up, or are being continually interrupted, as they struggle to have their say. It is good for all the children in the family, as well as the child who stammers, to take their turns in speaking and to allow others to have their say without interrupting. These skills are important for learning.

In any family, children may make upsetting comments about another child in the family behind the parents' back and it is important to find out if this is going on. The secretive undermining of one child by other children in the family is quite common. Parents need to be aware of this and act to prevent it.

Key adults

Use the BSA leaflets so that all key adults and children in your child's remember the simple tips to support your child's speech. Sometimes older people may take some convincing that they should not interrupt or finish off words when a child is stammering. When this happens pass on the BSA leaflets as they provide straightforward information from outside the family that is well presented and up-to-date.

Support for you

If you do feel very anxious about your child's stammering, then contact the BSA:Helpline so that you can talk about your fears with someone who understands.

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