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Top FAQs

  • Every nursery or early years' setting will have someone responsible for special educational needs and your child is likely to have a keyworker who is regularly monitoring your child’s progress. You can approach the setting’s manager if you are unsure. Part of their role is to coordinate the support for your child’s learning and overall development, including speech, language and communication needs, social-emotional well-being and mental health. You can talk to them about any concerns you might have regarding your child’s stammer or speech development.

    You can expect them to help keep a record of how a stammer presents at nursery, how it is affecting them and let you know anything they have noticed that is helping.

    Early education staff can also work with your child’s Speech and Language Therapist for staff awareness training, to discuss the best strategies to use in school and monitor how the strategies are helping.

  • It is common for children with a stammer to experience some anxiety, frustration and embarrassment around talking. 

    Children may experience negative reactions when they stammer which can cause worry about speaking and lead to low self-esteem and heightened anxiety in social situations. A child or young person who stammers can appear anxious when talking, but the anxiety did not cause the stammer.

    Depending on the age of your child, there are different ways that you can help to create an inclusive, supportive communication environment in which children can develop their confidence in communicating. As children get older, it may be helpful to focus on understanding and resolving the links between their thoughts, emotions and behaviours around their stammer. It is best to talk to a speech and language therapist about your child for tailored strategies. 

    In this article, we offer some general tips for facilitating positive communication and some ideas that might help your child develop their self-confidence. 

    Tips for conversation:

    • Avoid correcting stammer.
    • Comment on what is said, not how it is said.
    • Let the child or young person finish their own sentences.
    • If your child is comfortable, ask them directly: ‘What would you like me to do when your talking is bumpy?’ This gives your child more control over moments of stammering and may help them to move their focus away from the problem and towards active solutions.

    Family and school activities you might like to try:

    • Introduce a 5-minute family time to share general successes and worries to increase self-awareness, confidence and problem solving.
    • Emphasise what makes a confident communicator rather than emphasising speaking smoothly. Talk about success: sharing ideas, making friends, sharing a joke and asking questions to take an interest in others.
    • Ask your school about any confidence building programs already in place to develop children's confidence and positive well-being. For example, after-school clubs or opportunities to become a member of the school council. These activities give children and young people the chance to develop their confidence in different social environments and experience speaking with a broader range of people. 
  • There are no specific foods that are directly linked to stammering. Although it goes without saying that a balanced diet is important for overall health and well-being.

    We know that children can sometimes stammer more when they are tired and hungry, so a healthy diet and a regular routine can help your child. Establishing good sleeping habits and calm daily routines can help children with a stammer as we know some children stammer more when they are feeling tired and in busy environments.


Speech and Language Therapists work with children who stammer to develop fluency, confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Your local NHS Speech and Language Therapy service should be able to support you. If you need more information about how to make a referral or what services are available to you then please get in touch.

We also partner with organisations to offer courses run by speech and language therapists that would not otherwise be available via the NHS. Take a look at our project page for details.

Stambassador Stories

We know that parents worry about the impact a stammer might have on their child in the longer-term. Although many children may not go on to stammer into adulthood, some children do and we want to reassure you that stammering shouldn’t prevent a child realising their potential.

Our Stambassadors Network is made up of inspiring adults who stammer sharing their experiences of navigating their chosen career path. Through their stories, we want to illustrate that every child can pursue the college course, university degree, and career that they aspire to.

From engineers and doctors to political advisors and journalists, have a browse of the stories provided by our Stambassador Network.

Find out more


We are committed to promoting more robust research into childhood stammering so that children and their families receive the most effective support. This includes funding research projects, sharing recent insights from published work, and offering an opportunity for families to take part in research studies. Take a look at our research and policy section for more information. 

Find out more