How to Improve Speech Disfluency
Between the ages of two and six, an explosion occurs in a child’s vocabulary. And, in some cases, this may involve certain difficulties when it comes to speech. Therefore, we want to offer some advice on how to improve speech disfluency.
As much as possible, when children begin to develop language, we should accompany them and facilitate communication. In doing so, we’ll prevent or at least minimize this kind of problem. With that in mind, the following article will tell you what to do – and what no to do – when it comes to speech disfluency.
How to improve speech disfluency?
When children begin the process of language acquisition, some may display a variety of difficulties. For example, they may blank out, start stuttering, have a hard time pronouncing certain syllables, etc. And all of these issues keep them from speaking with ease. Many parents are unsure of exactly how to react in these cases, which is why we want to offer some advice.
It’s important to be consistent and maintain the following suggestions over time, both at home and at school. Gradually, little ones will modify their language according to what they see and hear in their environment. And since teachers spend a great deal of time with our kids, it’s important for parents and educators to work in the same direction.
Tips for improving speech disfluency in children
- Allow children to express the ideas they have without interrupting them.
- Pay attention to what children are saying, rather than focusing only on how they’re saying it.
- Don’t worry about the way children speak. When kids notice that their parents are worried, they immediately sense that something’s wrong.
- Maintain eye contact when children are talking to you.
- Don’t try to express what children are saying by finishing their sentences for them. Rather, let them express themselves in their own words.
- When children are finished speaking, respond slowly and clearly. Use some of the terms that they used to explain their idea.
- If you’re doing something that requires concentration and can’t look at your child, let him know. Tell him or her that even though you can’t look right now, you’re still listening and paying attention.
What not to do in order to improve speech disfluency
There are many things you can do to help minimize speech disfluency in children. But now we want to take a look at what things you shouldn’t do.
Don’t finish their sentences for them
Never try to guess what children are going to say or finish their sentences for them. If you do, you’ll only discourage them from talking to you.
Don’t interrupt them when they’re talking
Be sure to wait your turn and allow children to finish what they’re saying. That way, when they’re done expressing themselves, then it’s your turn to talk. It’s important to work on this and set a good example for your little ones. Children have less self-control than adults and need to learn to be patient and respectful when others are speaking.
Don’t correct them all the time
Be sure not to criticize the way that children speak or the way they pronounce certain words or sounds. If you do, they’ll only become more aware of their own difficulties and get stuck when it’s time to pronounce those words and sounds that are hard for them.
Don’t rush children when they’re expressing their ideas
Many times, without even noticing, we send the message to our children that we’re getting impatient for them to finish talking. We can even do this without speaking, through our facial expressions and body language. So we need to be careful – not just with what we say, but with our gestures as well.
Don’t constantly push your child to speak quickly and clearly
All children are different and have their own pace. Therefore, each child needs time to organize his or her ideas and express them. If you push children to speak quickly, they’ll just go blank and get stuck with their words and what they’re trying to say.
Don’t talk too fast
If you want your children to speak slowly and carefully, then don’t use a fast pace when talking to them. As we’ve mentioned, parents are role models when it comes to language and speech. So, children will try to imitate the way you speak.
Don’t force children to speak out loud in front of friends, relatives, neighbors, etc
If your child experiences speech disfluency, don’t force him or her to read or express ideas in front of other poeple. If you do, you’ll only end up accentuating the problem and your child will become even more self-conscious of his or her difficulties.
Final thoughts regarding speech disfluency
These are some of the things you should keep in mind when it comes to improving speech disfluency. However, if the problems persist or you don’t notice any improvement, don’t hesitate to seek the assistance of a professional. He or she will be able to conduct a thorough evaluation and recommend proper treatment, if necessary.