It's good to hear from you.
The general advice is to go to the Health Visitor to request an assessment by a speech and language therapist as soon as possible, and while you are waiting for the assessment, follow the advice set out by the British Stammering Association:
WHEN TALKING WITH YOUR CHILD
How you and others respond is important and will shape your child’s perception of themselves. Be measured in your response - try not to show you’re worried even if that’s how you’re feeling. Remain calm and relaxed and try to:
slow down your own rate of speech, but don't tell your child to slow down or take a deep breath
have one-on-one time (just five minutes every day) with your child, where they aren’t competing for attention with tasks or other family members
ask one question at a time and give them plenty of time to answer
use short, simple sentences.
WHEN LISTENING TO YOUR CHILD
Resist the very strong temptation to show anxiety, impatience or to correct or fill in their speech. Try instead to:
keep natural eye-contact
listen to what your child is saying, not how they say it
pause before answering questions
make sure everyone in the conversation gets a turn to speak
acknowledge speech difficulties with reassurance and encouragement, if that feels right for you and your child. You might say something like, "Learning to talk is quite a hard thing to do - lots of people get stuck on their words and that’s OK. You’re doing really well."
Stammers can be just a temporary phase or they can carry-on longer. Some of the red flags to look out for are:
- if the stammer has been present for longer than two or three months
- if there's a family history of stammering
- is there are other speech sound difficulties
- if the stammer has started after the age of 3.5 years.
We're here if you need us and I hope things improve quickly.
Nicola Speech and Language Therapist (The Owl Centre)