Do you find your child stammering often while talking? Does your child prolong a word or syllable while speaking? If yes, your child may be suffering from a speech disorder called stuttering or stammering but now labeled as childhood onset fluency disorder
It is observed among some children when their language and speech abilities are in the developmental stage Even though most kids outgrow this developmental speech disorder as they grow-up, at times, stuttering may persist and may continue into adulthood. Stuttering adversely impacts the self-esteem of the individual as well as his interactions with others. So, it becomes important to treat stuttering at the initial stage with an effective treatment, such as speech therapy, to prevent it from turning difficult for the individual to communicate and socialize .
And, if you are curious to learn more about stuttering and how speech therapy can be helpful, think no further. Scroll down to find all about it.
What is Stuttering?
A disruption in one’s fluency of verbal expression that is often characterized by involuntary, silent or audible, repetitions or prolongations of syllables or sounds is called stuttering. Stuttering is a disorder or symptom of underlying language or speech related issues or an emotional issue arising out of emotional issues like stress ,anxiety but not a disease.
The repetitions and prolongations may be accompanied by certain physical movements and negative emotions, such as anxiety ,stress avoidance,embarrassment, fear, or irritation.
Stuttering not only occurs in kids but also affects elderly individuals who suffer from certain health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, post-stroke, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s Disease.
Causes of Stuttering:
Most commonly stuttering occurs due to underdeveloped speech and language abilities in kids.
However, certain factors or a combination of them can make an individual to stutter, no matter whether he is a kid, adult, or aged person. These include:
● A family history of stuttering
● Abnormalities or problems in speech motor control
● Brain injuries or other serious medical conditions
● Intellectual disabilities
● Mental and emotional health issues
Stuttering may turn worse when the affected person is under stress or pressure, excited, self-conscious, hurried, or tired. The individuals who stutter may find situations, such as speaking on the stage or in front of a group, difficult.
Symptoms of Stuttering:
Here are some common symptoms of stuttering.
● Difficulty in initiating a word, sentence, or phrase
● Repetition of syllable, word, or sound
● Anxiety about talking
● Prolongation of a word or the sound with a word
● Limited ability to communicate effectively
● Pauses when speaking out a word or a brief silence for certain words or syllables.
● The presence of extra, unnecessary words, such as ‘um’, when one anticipates difficulty in moving to the next word.
● Excess of movement, tension, or tightness of the face or the upper body when starting and speaking out a word.
Stuttering may also be accompanied by certain movements:
● Head jerks
● Rapid eye blinks
● Facial tics
● Tremors of the jaw or lips
● Clenching fists
When Should You See a Doctor or Speech-Language Therapist?
Stuttering is common in kids who come in the age group of 2 to 5 years, and they outgrow it as they grow. However, if stuttering persists for long or for an abnormally prolonged period, you need to see a doctor, preferably a speech-language therapist to improve your child’s speech fluency. The conditions which indicate that you should see a speech therapist include if stuttering
● Persists over 6 months
● Turns more frequent or continues even after the child grows older
● Occurs along with other language or speech issues
● Leads to anxiety or emotional issues, such as a phobia or avoiding situations where the child needs to speak.
● Causes apparent struggle to speak or tightening of the muscles
● Adversely affects the individual’s ability to communicate at school, work, or any social situation.
● Begins in the adulthood
Speech Therapy for Stuttering:
Early treatment for stuttering can help prevent it from turning a lifelong problem. The treatment depends on the frequency and severity of the stuttering, and your doctor may direct you to visit a speech therapist for an effective treatment.
Speech therapy will include regular sittings with the speech therapist as well as speech exercises to practice regularly at home. Receiving speech therapy froman expert speech and language therapist can help improve your speech and figure out underlying causes for stutter.
A. Speech Therapy for Children:
The speech therapist may provide your kid customized speech therapy which will be suited the best for your child’s speech improvement. Speech therapy activities and exercises may vary based on your kid’s age, needs, and severity of your child’s disorder. While providing speech therapy to your child, the skilled therapist may:
● Interact with your child by playing, communicating by talking, using pictures, interesting books, and other objects to promote language development.
● Model correct syllables, words, and sounds for your child and train your kid to speak out syllables and words correctly.
● Offer strategies and assign homework to you and your kid as to how to practice speech therapy at home regularly for improving your child’s fluency.
B. Speech Therapy for the Parents of the Child:
Speech therapy also involves educating the stuttering child’s parents with ways to support their kids. The therapist will encourage you to:
● Offer your child a relaxed atmosphere at home
● Provide your kid several opportunities to talk
● Listen when your kid speaks out and not to finish or interrupt his sentences, and give your child time to say exactly what he wishes to speak out.
● Speak in a relaxed and slow tone so that your kid does not experience pressure to speak quickly.
Also, do not restrain your child from stuttering while following the speech therapy. Instead, be patient, and give your child his time to improve his speech.
C. Speech Therapy for Adults:due to underlying medical condition
Adults and elderly individuals may also suffer from stuttering due to certain health conditions, such as oral cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or any other issues. Experienced speech therapist assesses your condition to determine your requirement and then design an effective treatment therapy to improve your speech. These exercises may involve:
● Breathing exercises for resonance
● Appropriate exercises for strengthening your oral muscles
● Conversational tactics to enhance your social communication
● Language and speech exercises
● Activities involving problem-solving, organization, and memory skills to enhance your cognitive communication.
So, if any time you, your child, or any of your family members happen to suffer from stuttering, opt for the speech therapy for a remarkable improvement in the speech. Contact us at Nightingales on 1800 103 4530 or https://www.nightingales.in and our experienced speech therapists will be pleased
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