Treatments for Stuttering in Children

Worried about your child who seem not to outgrow his or her stuttering? Also called stammering, this speech condition have symptoms that include repetition of a word, syllable, or sound while speaking. It also involves trouble starting to speak a word, phrase or sentence. Other symptoms of stuttering include trembling of the jaw or lips, quick and repetitive blinking of the eyes, and tightness or tension of the face and upper part of the body. If your son or daughter suffers from these symptoms, it may be a sign that your kid has failed to outgrow that speech difficulty.

When should you bring your child to a specialist? For children between two to five years old, it is normal for them to stutter as they develop their speaking abilities. That will go away on its own. But if the stammering lasts beyond six months and occurs often with the symptoms mentioned above, then your child needs medical attention. If left untreated, stammering in children may lead to worse symptoms such as emotional problems, avoiding situations when the child has to speak, and poor performance in school.

It is advised that a child with speech problem be checked by a speech pathologist, a medical practitioner trained to diagnose and treat people suffering from speech, language, and voice disorders. During diagnosis, the speech pathologist will ask you about the history of the speech condition, particularly when it started and under what situations. After asking other relevant questions, the speech pathologist will perform a full assessment of the speech and language abilities of your child.

Various treatment methods are available for children with speech difficulty. These treatments only alleviate the condition to reduce stammering—no cure has been invented yet. Therapy can help a lot in keeping developmental stammering from getting in the way of a child’s normal day-to-day life.
Stammering in children is usually treated through informing parents on the best ways to adjust or control their children’s speaking environment. That way, the episodes of stammering will be minimized.

The following are several suggestions for parents like you who are finding ways to treat your child’s speech condition:

• Discuss openly with your child the condition when he or she asks you about it.

• Avoid encouraging or forcing your child to speak to other people.

• Make sure that you maintain a relaxed environment in your home to give your child enough chance to speak. It would be a lot helpful if you let your child speak without any distraction coming from you or other people at home.

• Be relaxed whenever you speak and do it slowly. That way, your child will learn to imitate the correct way to speak minus the stammering.

• Listen to your child attentively whenever he or she talks to you. Be patient—wait for your kid to complete the words. Avoid completing your child’s thoughts for himself or herself.

• Avoid punishing your child or reacting harshly because of his or her speech disfluency.

A cure for stuttering does not exist. However, as a parent, you can do some ways to help your child improve his or her fluency when speaking.

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