When to do Direct Therapy for Preschool Stuttering

Age Group:
Resouce Types:

Look for Risk Factors:

  • a family history of stuttering
  • stuttering that has continued for 6 months or longer
  • presence of other speech or language disorders
  • strong fears or concerns about stuttering on the part of the child or the family

No single factor can be used to predict whether a child will continue to stutter. The combination of these factors can help SLPs determine whether treatment is indicated.

Source: http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/stuttering/

Warning Signs for Persistent Stuttering from StutteringHelp.org:

  • A parent, sibling, or other family member who still stutters
  • Stuttering starts after age 3 ½
  • Stuttering has been occurring for at least 6 months
  • Preschooler is a male
  • The child has other speech sound errors or trouble being understood
  • The child’s language skills are advanced, delayed, or disordered

Source: http://www.stutteringhelp.org/risk-factors

How Long to Wait

Mark Onslow of the Australian Stuttering Research Centre recommends that the speech therapist should monitor the child for signs of natural recovery for about 6 months but no longer.  Onslow explains that other reasons a speech therapist may want to begin therapy sooner include:

  • the child becomes distressed about the stuttering
  • the stuttering is causing social problems or psychological issues

Source: http://www.nevdgp.org.au/info/std_misc/StutteringPreschoolers.pdf

How to Stop Stuttering in Preschoolers, What Therapy is Best?

Although there have been many different types of stuttering therapy over the years, a systematic review in 2006 by Bothe, et. al. found that the response-contingency approach was most effective treatment approach for children who stutter.


Find out More about Response Contingency:

How to Stop Stuttering in Preschoolers: Current Research-Based Methods