Common Questions: What options are available for my child who has started stuttering?

Here’s a question I often receive from parents concerned about stuttering and their child:

“Hi, my daughter turned 3 in Jan this year. We have noticed over the last few months that she has begun to stutter. Her father suffered quite badly from stuttering when he was younger so I want to be proactive in this situation. Can you please tell me what options are available?”

It is good that you are proactive because there is an effective, evidence-based treatment for stuttering during the preschool years called the Lidcombe Program.

The aim of the Lidcombe Program is to completely resolve the stuttering. Many of the children who have completed the program do not remember stuttering; some are not ever aware they did it.

Your child’s stuttering behaviours have started at the typical age. Speech dysfluencies are common in preschool-age children; without treatment some of these children will go on to stutter throughout life whereas others will stop being dysfluent by themselves.

See a speech pathologist who works with children who stutter. The speech pathologist will be able to advise you on how to respond to the stuttering and discuss treatment timing.