Stuttering Problems in Toddlers
Stuttering or stammering is a type of speech disorder which is characterized by an involuntary blockage, prolongation or repetition of a syllable or word that an individual is trying to say. Stuttering problems in toddlers is a common occurrence. Toddlers who stammer know what exactly they want to say, although they fail to say the words effortlessly and smoothly. Read onto know more about stuttering problems in toddlers.
When a toddler stammers, the concerned parents are usually told to relax. They are told that the stammering is just a passing phase that will soon disappear, and nothing extra needs to be done. But, this advice can be most unfortunate in later stage.
Stammering in Toddlers
Treatment of stammering in toddlers is more effective if it is started in the initial stage. Parents can miss a crucial stage of treating their child’s stammering by delaying expert evaluation. On the contrary, several toddlers undergo a developmental stage of speech and language disflunecy which is usually confused with true stammering. This normal speech disfluency does vanish over time without any medical intervention.
If a two-year old starts to repeat phrases, short words or even syllables about once in every ten sentences, then how do you identify whether it is stammering or normal disflunecy?
Toddlers with true stammering tend to repeat syllables or words 4 or more times. Also, they can even prolong sounds. Kids with stammering exhibit signs of reacting to their stammering – raising their voice, looking sideways, frequently blinking their eyes. True stammering occurs frequently – this consists 3% of the affected child’s speech. Normal speech disfluency is observed when the kid is excited, anxious or tired whereas true stammering is noticed on many occasions. They are mostly embarrassed, frustrated or concerned by their stammering.
Hence, stuttering problems in toddlers should be corrected as soon as possible to avoid this disorder to become a life-long problem. Speech therapy by a qualified speech-language therapist as well as home-based speech exercises and activities can help toddlers to overcome their stammering.