A child is most likely stuttering if they are experiencing interruptions to the flow of their speech.
Stuttering can be characterised by the following:
- Sound: 'c-c-can I go outside?'
- Syllable: 'can I go out-out-out-outside?'
- Word: 'can-can-can-can I go outside?'
- Phrase: 'Can I – can I – can I go outside?'
- Sentence: "Can I go outside? Can I go outside?"
- Occurs when there is a stoppage of airflow and therefore no sound comes out.
- The child may attempt to speak, but appears to struggle to get the words out.
- Usually occurs at the start of the word.
- The child seems to 'stretch' the sound out.
- It can occur on sounds in any position in the word or sentence and can vary in length.
- Example: 'aeeeeeeeeroplane'
- Also known as 'fillers'
- Interjections are the frequent insertion of words like 'um' and 'ah'.
Other behaviours may also occur, such as:
- Tension and struggle in the face
- Lack of eye contact
- Body movements
- Avoiding particular words
- Avoiding particular situations
A Speech Pathology assessment is recommended if you feel your child is displaying any of these characteristics when speaking.