Why parents should build up their child's language skills

Any child benefits from encouragement to develop his language skills, as language is the basic tool for learning. However, this particularly helps a child who stammers as the better his language skills the more likely he is to manage his stammering.

Building up vocabulary for the younger child

Extend his vocabulary and encourage him to learn new words

Children do not learn language just by hearing it around them. They have to communicate and interact for that to happen. The idea is to keep your child interested in words and talking so speak in the same sort of sentences your child does - keep them short and simple for the younger age group particularly but sometimes speak in sentences slightly longer than his to help build up his vocabulary.

Interacting with your child

In primary school he will be expected to listen to advice, information and instructions and should have a foundation for this from his pre-school and home experiences. Practising these skills at home so that he is able to understand what is required, and take any action necessary, is helpful to his progress at school.

Creating a rich language environment in the home to extend language skills

Reading poetry, constructing rhymes and playing word games are all good means of developing an interest in language and its pleasures. Even if your child continues to stammer he will be very much helped by good language skills that give him the confidence to understand what he hears and to plan his own responses. When he comes across a new word encourage him to understand its meaning and pronounce and spell it correctly in a way that seems like a game.

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Text for this whole section: How to help your child's learning