My son is 4 years and 7 months old and he stutters....
Specifically, he gets stuck on one word and repeats that word as little as 3 times to 15 times. It's typically the first word in his sentences and it does happen more when he's tired but it still happens regardless all the time. He sees a speech therapist once a week (he's had speech delays) but I was wondering what all I can do at home to help him. The therapist just said to let him finish his sentences himself and be patient. Which is great but what else can I do?
In this situation, we definitely agree with the advice you received from your son's speech-language pathologist: allow him to finish his sentences by himself, and be patient with him. In addition, though, you may also wish to consider the following:
When your son is tired, give him simple questions that require “yes/no” answers. Avoid engaging him in a lot of conversation during this period. It is a bit common for a child w/speech delays to begin stuttering once they begin to progress. Stuttering is actually part of the normal developmental process; however, since we do not know the nature of your child's stuttering issue, we do not know if this is the case.
Although it may be difficult for you, following the advice of being patient is our main recommendation. Let your son finish his statements, don’t correct him, and do not spend an inordinate amount of energy bringing attention to his stuttering (example: you frown up when he begins to stutter). Children can often sense a parent’s frustration, and if he senses you’re upset with his speech, this could make him very self-conscious and actually make his stuttering even more severe.
So again, be patient and continue working with your child’s speech therapist.
My son started to stutter when he was three. He was being babysat by his teen siblings at the time. I found out that one of my older kids was yelling a lot at him, making him nervous.
I put a stop to letting them watch him, and his stuttering, within five months, went completely away!
I would not have believed that an emotional upset could hinder a child's speech development and cause a stutter if I hadn't seen it firsthand. I knew that people who stutter do so more when they are nervous, but I had no idea it could effect the speech of a developing child. Good thing I found the culprit; sometimes we never know what makes them upset.