Males and females have equal chances of becoming persistent stutterers. FACT: Males are more vulnerable to stuttering, but females are likely to persist if natural recovery does not happen soon after onset.
My child will always be upset about their stutter so a speech pathologist can’t help us. FACT: Changing the negative attitudes of the person who stutters can be a major focus of treatment.
Not all cultures have stuttering. FACT: Stuttering is found in all parts of the world and in all cultures and races. It is indiscriminate of occupation, intelligence, and income; it affects both sexes and people of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly.
As a parent, I can’t help my child’s stuttering. FACT: Parent-child interactions are usually the key element of the environment that can facilitate change. Parents usually work on creating a facilitating environment during brief, one-on-one family aspects such as hurried pace of life, stressful life events, and the communication style of other family members may need to be changed.
My child won’t stutter because we have a happy home life/family. FACT: Environmental factors that influence the onset and progression of stuttering are stresses and pressures in different environments the child is in such as competition for speaking, frequent interruptions, moving households, new siblings, excitement when speaking, and loud environments.
My child reached all typical developmental milestones, but they still stutter. FACT: Children often go through a period of rapid growth during childhood for motor skills, speech and language, and sensory skills. Because of the demand of this rapid skill acquisition period, some skills such as walking, and speech may develop around the same time. This places a high demand on the child and one skill may delay for awhile as the child focuses on learning a skill.
My child already had speech and language services: they won’t stutter. FACT: Language factors may play an important role in the onset and development of stuttering because language processing can place extra demands on speech production. Delays in language development could co-occur with stuttering, but not cause it. On the other hand, language delays could cause children to become frustrated with their difficulty expressing themselves and consequently develop fears about speaking, which could lead to stuttering.
I have a good relationship with my child, so they won’t stutter. FACT: Speech and language of parent of children with stuttering can influence the child’s stuttering. This includes the rate of speech, interruptions of the child’s speaking, the frequency of questions that parents ask the child, and the linguistic complexity of the parent’s speech.
My child speaks two languages, but this won’t affect their stuttering. FACT: There is evidence of an increased risk for stuttering in bilingual individuals; however, it is important to determine if the “stuttering” is really stuttering or is simply an increase in disfluency because of limited proficiency in a second language. This determination can be made through careful observation of the presence of secondary symptoms and cognitive or emotional responses to the stuttering.
My child’s emotions don’t impact my child’s stuttering. FACT: It can be suggested that some individuals have predispositions to stutter because they are constitutionally more likely to have anxiety and speech breakdowns under stressful conditions. Moreover, these individuals are also thought to be more conditioned because of their autonomic reactivity, making it more likely that the initial breakdowns under stress will develop into highly learned stuttering.
As a parent, I gave my child the genetic trait of stuttering. FACT: Parents who are concerned about passing on stuttering genes should know that they pass on many desirable traits as well to their children. It is important to note that there are countless other factors that can be modified to decrease the amount of stuttering in children.
Written by Alexis Waldron
Stuttering handouts, videos, and blog: https://stutteringtherapyresources.com/pages/practical-tips-handouts-understanding-stuttering
Articles, essays, books, and other materials: https://web.mnsu.edu/comdis/kuster/stutter.html
Resources, connections, therapy and support (specifically for school-age children): https://westutter.org/families/parents/Free E-Books: https://www.stutteringhelp.org/free-e-books