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Helping Children Who Stutter to Read

By Jodie Lynn


What is the best way, teaching tools or system to teach our five-year-old twins how to read, understand what they've read and be able to share the information with others? They both stutter a little and are aware that they are slightly different from their friends, which we are assuming is part of the problem.


Since your children are aware of their stuttering, this is very helpful in working with a certified speech pathologist who can assist them in feeling more comfortable with the differences they may have from other children. Therapy can help to support positive feelings toward talking, focusing on being an overall effective and confident communicator, and help to support everyone. There's also much that can be done to help treat stuttering from a physical perspective and usually earlier is better. Check for more details. - Chamonix Olsen, American Institute for Stuttering, in NY, NY

Although having some hesitation to speak aloud because of stuttering could influence a child's participation in reading activities, there is no known link between reading abilities and stuttering. Read aloud and have them follow along by pointing to the words with their fingers. Stop periodically and discuss what's happened so far in the story. Rhyming books will help with stuttering; they're fun and children love the patterns associated with them. As they become more confident in their reading abilities and have more experiences talking about books, they will become more willing to share their ideas about what they've read. See for additional information. - Jane Fraser, President, Stuttering Foundation of America in Memphis, TN


Your twins are at an age that most experts say is a good starting point for developing reading and comprehension skills. Prior to age five or six, there are specific neural connections that are not formed that allow children to decode printed letters and remember them later. For those that do actually read, retain and communicate what they've read before this age, it's usually done on their own with a little help from mom or dad. For example, reading to children is still one of the very best ways to get kids interested in reading, inspire their imaginations and establish a love in them for books. The perfect place to start is with alphabet books, songs, videos, CD's and DVD's. Start the process as early as possible. With the stuttering challenge, check with the school speech pathologist to see what may be available or have a private one check them out. In addition to whatever you decide, the programs mentioned above are two of the very highest quality and can provide educational and emotional help for your children.

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I am a single mom with two daughters, ages 8 and 16. The oldest is constantly being rude to the youngest and now, the eight-year-old is picking up some of the smart aleck remarks. Unfortunately, she's using them on her friends, relatives and even on me. No one appreciates this type of behavior. How can I stop this insanity?

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© Jodie Lynn
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning internationally syndicated family/health columnist and radio personality. Her syndicated column Parent to Parent has been successful for over 10 years and appears in newspapers, magazines, newsletters and throughout the Internet. She is a regular contributor to several sites including,,,,, and Lynn has written four books and contributed to three others, one of which was on Oprah and has appeared on NBC in a three month parenting segment. Her latest books are "Mom CEO (Chief Everything Officer) - Having, Doing and Surviving It All!" (June 2006) and "Syndication Secrets - What No One Will Tell You!" (March 2006).
Please visit for details on her new radio talk show, Inside Parenting Success.


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