Stuttering and early language development - what's normal? - The Montessori Room
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by Laura Berthiaume February 24, 2022 2 min read

Our at-home program coordinator, Katie, has just finished a special needs and Montessori course and she's put together some resources for parents.

I've broken down the info into seperate emails to avoid sending a novel but look out for posts in the coming weeks about:

  • Speech & language development
  • Emotional & behavioural development
  • SPD
  • Gross motor development

While teachers can never diagnose, they can provide a lot of insight into your child's daily life. This information can then be brought to professionals to give them a more complete picture of any challenges your child is having.

Don't be afraid to bring up concerns with your child's teacher or caregiver. If they've been working with children for awhile, they'll have a good understanding of when intervention could be helpful.


On to today's topic - stuttering.

We thought it would be interesting to talk about stuttering because it's so common in language development.

Stuttering - What's Normal?

First, it's important to note that stuttering is completely normal during early language development, specifically when children start to form sentences.

During this period, children are absorbing a lot new vocabulary, as well as the rules of language (i.e. grammar), which they also have to organize in their heads.

When children are first learning to speak in sentences they have to:

Think about what they want to say > Find the words to say it > String all the words together in the correct order

It's really quite a lot of work when you think about it.

When To Seek Out A Professional Opinion

Katie has taught a few children over the years who needed speech therapy for stuttering but has seen most children grow out of it.

The table below gives you a better idea of when we would recommend some extra support. 
Stuttering in toddlers, what's normal

Source: Stuttering in Toddlers & Preschoolers: What’s Typical, What’s Not? - HealthyChildren.org

Early intervention is key. 

In Toronto, you can access a free assessment through the Preschool Speech & Language:  Preschool Speech & Language Program – City of Toronto

Your city may have similar resources.

What You Can Do At Home

When your child is undergoing leaps in their language development and you notice a stutter, here's a few things you can do at home to help them through it:
    • Be patient. Do not finish their sentences for them or rush them to speak. Don’t tell them to “try again.”  
    • Ask simple questions.  
    • Be a language role model. Refrain from speaking to the child quickly. Look at your child when you are speaking to them and look at them when they are speaking to you.
Hopefully that helps put your mind at ease if your child is currently stuttering or is the on verge of language development.


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