This is the best time of the year? It can be. So much to do, so much to see, so much excitement for everyone. Lots of hustle, many parties, family visits and maybe a long awaited vacation. This all seems to be so much fun! Except if you’re a young child who may be reactive to stress. Yes, this is stress!
Young children may experience stuttering (dysfluent speech) as part of typical development. Your 3-5 year old may be working hard to formulate lengthier sentences and convey more information. However, holiday time can excacerbate these dysfluencies resulting in several weeks of heightened repetitions of words and phrases.
Be aware of your child’s level of stress during the holidays. Try to maintain familiar routines and help your child know what to expect in coming days and weeks. Be patient with your child. Be a speech model for your child. Slow your rate and reduce the number of questions you might typically ask. Allow your child time to formulate their thoughts and respond to your questions.
Expect your child’s dysfluencies to begin to lessen as the season comes to an end. However, if your child’s dysfluencies remain in a heightened state or he/she begins to verbalize frustration with his/her speech, it may be a time to seek help from a speech pathologist.
Enjoy the holidays!