Fluency (Stuttering) DisordersRichmond, TX
Stuttering is a condition in which a person "trips over" their words. It may be more difficult for stutterers to say a word in full, which may negatively affect a child's self-confidence. Luckily, stuttering can be treated.
Stuttering treatment is available at Small Talk Therapy Services in Richmond. It is important to us that our clients feel heard, loud and clear. Call us today at (832) 900-1198 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.
Stuttering is a speech disorder that causes the speaker to repeat or prolong sounds, syllables, or words. Alternatively, they may have interrupted speech, accompanied by strange expressions or movements. Stuttering usually onsets in early childhood when children are between two and six years old. Most children "grow out" of stuttering. However, early intervention is key to managing symptoms.
There are three different types of stuttering: developmental, neurogenic, and psychogenic. Developmental stuttering is most common in children under the age of five, especially males. Neurogenic stuttering occurs as a result of abnormalities between the brain and nerves or muscles. Psychogenic stuttering comes from the part of the brain that regulates reasoning and thinking.
Causes of Stuttering
It is not uncommon for many children to experience periods of disfluency as their social communication and language skills continue to develop. However, these periods generally last less than six months. Children who experience disfluency for a longer time may benefit from professional intervention.
As with many other similar disorders, there is no one apparent cause of stuttering. However, evidence suggests that genetics may play a factor, along with brain differences. Boys tend to be at a higher risk than girls, and children with a family history of stuttering are at a higher risk than those without said history. Additionally, those who begin stuttering by the time they are three-and-a-half or older are more likely to continue stuttering.
Signs of Stuttering
Aside from prolonging and repeating sounds and words, those who stutter may also have trouble beginning words, phrases, or sentences. They may also take brief silences for specific syllables or words, or they may need to take pauses in the middle of saying a word. All these factors may lead to anxiety around talking and limit a child’s ability to communicate effectively.
Stuttering can also manifest itself in physical symptoms. For instance, the muscles in the face or upper body may become excessively tense or tight when trying to produce a word. A child who stutters may clench their fists or jerk their head involuntarily. Tremors of the lips or jaw, rapid eyes, and general facial tics are also typical.
All these symptoms can be worsened when the speaker feels excited, hurried, pressured, self-conscious, stressed, or tired. Despite this, many children who stutter can speak without stuttering when talking to themselves. They may also be able to sing or speak in unison with another person.
Diagnosing stuttering is a non-invasive process. A qualified speech therapist can assess the child for stuttering using a variety of methods. During the assessment, our team will consider the child's case history, analyze their speech behaviors, evaluate their language abilities, and determine the impact of stuttering on their overall life.
We will also keep in mind whether or not a family history of stuttering influencing the child, how long the stuttering has been occurring, and any other potential speech or language problems. Parents should be prepared to answer any questions about the above.
Additionally, we may ask about how stuttering affects their life. We may also ask them to read out loud to analyze subtle differences in speech better. Since many other disorders may cause issues with stuttering and speech, we will take steps to rule out any other possible conditions.
Some cases of stuttering are natural and resolve themselves without therapy. However, this is not true in all cases — and early intervention is critical in managing symptoms. Take your child to be evaluated for a professional if you suspect they may have problems stuttering. Otherwise, there is a risk of the disorder following them into adulthood.
Speech therapy can be a significant help to children who stutter. The right speech therapist may reduce interruptions in your child's speech and boost their self-esteem. The best candidates for speech therapy are children who have had noticeable stuttering for three to six months, have a family history of stuttering and have had their lives negatively impacted by their stuttering.
Call Us Today
Stuttering can be frustrating and discouraging for any child to experience. We at Small Talk Therapy Services may be able to help. Call us today at (832) 900-1198 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a cure for stuttering?
There is no cure for stuttering, but many treatments and interventions are available to manage the symptoms. About 75 percent of children resolve their stuttering issues. However, the other 25 percent may deal with stuttering throughout adulthood.
Is there any medication for stuttering?
There are no FDA-approved drugs to treat stuttering. Some doctors may prescribe stuttering children medications that have been approved for other conditions, primarily epilepsy, anxiety, or depression. However, these drugs are typically unsuitable for long-term use.
How common is stuttering?
Stuttering can affect people of any age. Approximately three million Americans stutter. Around five to 10% of all children stutter at one point, from anywhere to a few weeks to several years. Boys are two to three times more likely than girls to stutter. This disparity only grows as they get older.
How can I help my child with their stuttering?
If you are worried that your child has a problem with stuttering, the most important thing to do is take them to be evaluated by one of our qualified professionals. Still, there are many things you can do at home to support your child. Listen attentively and use appropriate eye contact, giving them time to complete their own words and sentences. Do not correct or criticize them for their stuttering. Try to lessen their feelings of self-consciousness by not telling them to "slow down" or "take your time." Reduce overall exposure to stress as much as possible.
Are children more likely to stutter if they are bilingual?
No, this has no bearing on whether or not a child will stutter. However, some children may find it challenging to learn two languages at once, which may negatively affect their fluency development.
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