Social and Environmental Factors
Throughout this website we emphasise that parents and families do not cause a child to stammer. However a child's environment is important as there are lots of things you can do to help.
Daily lifestyles, events, experiences, attitudes, and behaviours that occur at home and school do have an impact on all children in all sorts of ways, and for children who stammer this will include their fluency.
Most families' daily lives are busy and demanding. There is so much to organize and to remember: full schedules of activities, clothes to find, mealtimes, bedtimes, appointments, school timetables, homework and social lives! There are constant demands and pressures, fun times and conflicts, anxieties and health worries - all normal parts of everyday life.
Some children who stammer may find it difficult to keep up the same pace, or keep trying to get in ahead of others.
However, the fact is that stammering and a fast pace do not go well together.
As adults, our task is to notice and understand the usual pace of life in the child's environment and decide what can't be changed and then try, where possible, to adjust those aspects which can be sensibly controlled or modified.
- If everyone talks at once and at a rapid rate, the child may try to match it
- If everyone uses very complicated language, the child may try to copy
- If certain situations are demanding, the child may feel pressured
None of these is easy when you are also stammering. The view that the environment plays an important role in a child's stammering is supported by valuable clinical evidence which shows that helping families to notice what they are already doing that helps their child to be more fluent and doing more of this - can be really helpful for their stammering. Small changes can make a big difference to supporting the child's fluency.