A child who stutters repeats or prolongs sounds, syllables, or words. There are several types of stuttering, including developmental, neurogenic, and psychogenic. Developmental stuttering usually occurs between ages 2 and 5. It may happen when a child’s speech and language development lags behind what they want to say. Neurogenic stuttering may happen after a brain injury or stroke, occurring when there are signal problems between the brain and the nerves and muscles involved in speech. Psychogenic stuttering, although uncommon, may happen after emotional trauma or along with problems thinking or reasoning.
Each child’s development is different. Some symptoms of stuttering may appear that are part of the child’s normal speech and language development. However, if the symptoms last for 3 to 6 months, the child may have developmental stuttering. Symptoms may vary but can include:
- Stopped or blocked speech
- Prolonging sounds (SSSSStop)
- Repeating sounds, syllables, or words
- Using interjections such as “um”
- Talking slowly or with a lot of pauses
- Increased stuttering when tired, excited, or under stress
Treatment will depend on the child’s symptoms, age, and general health as well as how severe the condition is. There is no cure for stuttering, but early treatment can prevent stuttering from continuing into adulthood. Different techniques can be taught for the child to learn skills that can help them speak without stuttering.
Complications of stuttering may include lower self-esteem, poor school performance, social problems, and limited participation in some activities. There are many ways to help your child manage stuttering. Talk openly about stuttering if your child brings it up. Do not interrupt your child when they speak; you should wait for them to say words or complete sentences without finishing for them. Praise your child for correct speech and refrain from reacting negatively.
SpeechEasy is a combination of proven technology and techniques which can be used to reduce stuttering. Worn in one ear and similar in appearance to a hearing aid, SpeechEasy has helped thousands increase their ability to communicate effectively and confidently. The program that comes with every SpeechEasy is supported by a team of fluency professionals who truly care about your success. Contact us today!