We’ve heard the terms stuttering and stammering often being used interchangeably. The truth is that they are no different from each other and they both refer to a disfluency of speech. In simpler terms, stuttering interferes with the flow of speech, typically including repetition of certain words or parts of some words or lengthening of some words.
The signs and symptoms of stuttering usually appear in childhood. Although a large percentage of children stutter at some point of toddlerhood, between ages 2-5, when they're in the early stages of acquiring language skills most of them outgrow this phase. We’ve probably heard them say “where , where, where did the doggie go?" But for some children, stuttering lasts beyond a phase and it needs to be addressed and treated at the earliest. It stuttering lasts beyond 3-6 months, it is more likely a child will require therapy to rectify it. If left untreated it can persist into adulthood.
Although children can outgrow their stuttering, some carry it on to adulthood. A child is more likely to stutter if
Although stuttering has no correlation to intelligence, stuttering can leave a negative emotional and mental wellbeing of the child. A child who stutters can be subject to teasing, bullying or being mocked while also made to feel different and left out. They might hesitate to participate in school for the fear of not being able to say what they want to. A child might also find it difficult to make friends for fear of being made fun of. It can affect a child’s self-esteem and confidence and rob them of the chance to bloom and thrive. This can also lead to feelings of not being in control and anxiety.
What to do?
If you notice your child stuttering, the first step would be to consult a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP). An SLP will conduct a complete evaluation and assess whether your child’s stuttering is typical for their age and if you can wait it out or whether you need to start treatment. If this is beyond a phase and needs attention, it’s best to start treatment at the earliest as younger children have better chances of recovering. Early treatment can prevent stuttering from becoming a lifelong issue. Apart from your regular sessions with a SLP, there are plenty of things you can do at home with your child to provide a supportive and encouraging environment.
Here are some ways you can help your child who stutters
It is best to get help from a professional at the earliest. If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with our Specialists at Tactopus. Help and support are within reach. Your child’s stuttering needn’t rob them of their confidence. Seek help today. Reach out for an introductory free consultation with our Specialists at Tactopus. Your child is very young and the right guidance can help them overcome their stuttering.