My 3-year-old stutters — will preschool help?

My 3-year-old stutters — will preschool help?

Answered by: Lawrence Kutner, Ph.D.

Question:My 3-year-old has been stuttering for two months now. Sometimes she seems better, then all of a sudden she has a really bad day. Do you think school willdo her good? Or will the children make fun of her?

Answer:It's not unusual for toddlers to stutter as they master more sophisticated ways ofspeaking. It almost always means nothing. The child simply gets over it. Preschool will probably have no effect either way. Other children her age won'tmake fun of her.

However, you should look at how you handle your own concerns. The more anxious you become, the more likely your daughter is to keep stuttering becauseshe'll feel anxious too. Stay calm. Ignore the stuttering. Don't correct her. Just keep speaking to her clearly and patiently. Stuttering can become aproblem for older children. If an older preschool child stutters so badly that it interferes with her ability to communicate, and if the stuttering hasgone on for three months or more, talk to your pediatrician.

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