How can I help my child who has a stutter?

Aaron Puller, Speech Pathologist

What is stuttering?

Stuttering is a complex speech disorder of the fluency or rhythm of speech. While the exact cause of stuttering is still debated among researchers, contemporary theories suggest a combination of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors may play a role in its development. Stuttering usually starts between 2 and 6 years of age. Many children go through normal periods of disfluency lasting less than 6 months. Stuttering lasting longer than this may need treatment as it can impact children and teenagers by affecting their self-confidence, emotional well-being, and social relationships.

Children who stutter may experience challenges in expressing themselves fluently, leading to feelings of frustration and embarrassment. This can affect their self-esteem and confidence, as well as their social skills and interactions with peers. As a parent, it is important to provide support, understanding, and therapy intervention  to help your child navigate these challenges and reduce the impact stuttering has on their life.

How can I help?

Speech therapy is a common and effective treatment for stuttering. Parent-training programs such as the Lidcombe Program have shown strong evidence for helping preschool and school aged children improve their fluency. For adolescents and adults who stutter, speech restructuring approaches like the Camperdown Program have the strongest evidence. A speech pathologist can work with you and your child to help reduce stuttering and it’s effects on your child’s communication and social development.

At Umbo we recognise you are the expert on your child. That’s why we empower you with the tools to help treat stuttering in the comfort of your own home. Family-centered practice is essential in stuttering therapy by involving parents and siblings in therapy sessions. Speech therapists at Umbo create a supportive environment that encourages the child’s progress and success with stuttering therapy and embeds daily practice in family life.

Is telehealth right for me? My child won’t be able to sit still for that long.

Online therapy for stuttering can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy. With a focus on family-centred therapy and parent coaching your child does not need to sit still for the whole session for it to be effective. Telehealth includes so much more than Zoom calls. Games and interactive activities are used to keep it exciting and engaging for your child. Emails and phonecalls from your therapist between sessions can be used to facilitate further home practice of your child’s stuttering therapy. Telehealth therapy is incredibly time and cost effective; no time spent traveling to appointments, taking time out of your day, or sitting in the waiting room at your local clinic.

How much will it cost?

Umbo’s prices are standardised and transparent. Umbo is registered with the NDIS to provide a range of therapy services including stuttering therapy for all ages. Rebates may also be available under Medicare for private paying patients. 

How can I get started?

It’s important for parents to take proactive steps to address their child’s stuttering to set them up for success in the future. Early intervention is crucial in managing stuttering and can lead to better outcomes in the long term. Get started today with a free 15 minute therapy trial call to discuss with a qualified Speech Pathologist if telehealth speech therapy for stuttering is right for you