Stop Stammering in Children
Learning to speak, similar to learning to walk, does not happen at a one go and is not a smooth process. A few kids can even stammer or stutter and you might think how to stop stammering in children. Kids often stumble, start again, pause and stop over words when they start talking for the first time. When they are between the ages of 2-5, it is quite normal for them to repeat phrases and words. Also, they tend to hesitate with “er”s and “um”s, when they are sorting and thinking what exactly to say next. Read onto know how to stop stammering in children.
Even if the child is experiencing the initial hiccups in learning to speak, he or she may stammer or stutter. Nearly 5 in every 100 children tend to stutter for a period of time when they are in the initial phase of learning to talk. Many children find it much easier to fluently talk as they get older. On the other hand, other kids continue to find difficulty in talking and they stutter. If you child is showing the symptoms of stuttering, then you can arrange to see a speech therapist (SLP) who will show you how you can help your child to overcome this problem.
Stammering Speech – An Overview
If your child is stammering, then you can notice that your child
- Stops what he or she is saying in the half way and does not complete the sentence
- Tends to repeat parts of one word again and again (“mu-mu-mu-mummy”)
- Tends to stretch sounds in a specific word (“ssstory”)
- Can’t start with a sentence, no sound seems to come out for several seconds
- Has a jerky and tense speech
- Tends to put extra effort while saying words or phrases
Stammering Affects the Fluency
Immaterial of the age of your child, there are few things that he or she can do easily and there are some other things which appear to be difficult. The affected child’s fluency can change according to
- How he or she is feeling (confident, excited, anxious, tired or unwell)
- What he or she wants to say (For example, if the words are familiar or new, if the sentence is easy or complicated)
- Whether your child is actually talking to a complete stranger, parents or peers
- The situation (For example, if in the nursery or at home, or the environment is relaxed or rushed, quiet or noisy
Stuttering may strike and go; one can observe that the affected child’s speech is fluent and normal for many days, weeks or even months, then he or she suddenly stumbles and speaking becomes a problem once again. Hence, it is important to eliminate stammering in children at the early stage itself.
Help for Your Child
A speech and language therapist can effectively and successfully stop stuttering in a child. When you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to contact a SLP as soon as possible. The SLP’s are based in your local hospitals and health centers. You can directly meet your local speech-language therapist, or your health visitor or family doctor may recommend you to one.
Speech and language therapy exist on the NHS. One may have to wait for several weeks before a therapy session to stop stammering in a child, as most of the therapy departments have long waiting lists. This visit to the SLP will be informal and relaxed. One can avail the services of qualified speech-language therapists for a private assessment and treatment to stop stuttering in children.
What will the speech-language therapist want to know?
In order to stop stammering in your child, the SLP will ask you specific information to understand how the child communicates. The SLP will even involve you in the process of assessment, and ask you specific questions regarding your child’s speech. Also, he or she may ask you about your child’s overall health and development.
The SLP will then ask your child to speak and listen to him or her talking. Also, the SLP will ponder over several other aspects of communication development. After this assessment, your child’s therapist will discuss about the child’s speech and any other concerns which you may have. Then he or she will start with a treatment plan for your child’s stammering.