Stuttering is a common speech disorder in children characterized by the repetition of syllables, words, or sounds and interruptions in speech called blocks.
The children between the ages of 2.5 and 3 years generally face the problem of stuttering when they acquire their language skills at an incredible speed. Such stuttering is called developmental stuttering, which usually disappears on its own within a few months.
In modern science, the reason for stuttering is multiple mutations on various chromosomes. Mainly, these mutations are found to be heritable; around 60% of the people who stutter have a family history of stuttering. The male population is found to be more susceptible to stuttering than the female population.
Children Who Are At a High Risk of Stuttering?
Experts say that many children stutter when they learn a new language or rapidly expand their vocabulary. In many cases, children outgrow their stuttering on their own, but in some cases it can become a lifelong problem. The following are high risk factors for stuttering:
- Family history of stuttering.
- Occurrence of stuttering for more than a year
- Girls recover faster from stuttering, but if a girl has been stuttering for more than 12 months, she is at a high risk of persistent stuttering.
- If a child begins stuttering after the age of 3 to 4 years, the chances of it persisting are higher.
What Is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy is the treatment and assessment of speech disorders and communication problems in children and adults. In children, speech therapy helps to develop various skills such as voice, clarity, comprehension, sound production, and clarity. Speech therapy treats childhood stuttering in children and improves their speech and language skills.
How Does Speech Therapy Overcome Stuttering In Children?
Stuttering affects the rhythm and fluency of speech in children. Speech therapy is the most effective treatment approach for young children to overcome their stuttering issues.
Here are some ways in which speech therapy can help children overcome stuttering:
- Identifying and Understanding the Stuttering Behaviour: Speech therapists work closely with the children to identify and understand the patterns of their stuttering behaviour that make them aware of when and how they stutter. It makes it easy for speech therapists to control their speech disorder.
- Improving Speech Fluency: Speech therapy includes various techniques to improve speech fluency in children, like pausing between words, slow and smooth speech, etc.
- Developing Coping Strategies: Speech therapists develop coping strategies in children to deal with their stuttering by using non-verbal communication and practicing positive self-talk.
- Building Confidence: Speech therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for children that build their confidence and self-esteem.
- Involving Family Members: Family members play an important role in the success of speech therapy for stuttering.
What Are The Speech Therapy Exercises That Help Children With Their Stuttering?
For children, stuttering can be decreased with speech therapy and psychological support. Here are some of the speech therapy exercises that help children overcome their stutter.
- Slow and Smooth Speech: encouraging the child to speak slowly and smoothly and emphasizing on each syllable of words will help children make a clear rhythm.
- Pausing: teaching the child to pause before speaking and taking a deep breath during the pause this exercise allows them time to plan out what they want to say.
- Tongue Twisters: Practicing tongue twisters with children helps them produce specific speech sounds and build fluency.
- Play Speech Games: Incorporating speaking techniques into fun games helps children practice their speech in a way that is fun and entertaining for them. Games such as “Go Fish” and “Vocal Game of Charades” can be played with word elongation while speaking.
- Drinking From the Straw: It requires the tongue to be in a position that can also be optimal for speaking. Practicing this technique develops oral skills in children.
Speech therapy techniques has numerous advantages for children who have a stuttering disorder. It improves their communication skills and gives them the ability to express themselves. Overcoming stuttering issues boosts children’s confidence and improves their social interactions. Speech therapy enhances a child’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively by improving their pronunciation. We at Asha Speech and Hearing Clinic understand that communication difficulties impacts child and adults ability to enjoy comfortable adjustment in the society. Speech therapy for adults and children is the best path to clear and confident communication.