Why Toddler Stuttering? Is it normal for a toddler to stutter? Can stuttering be cured?
Am sure these are some of the questions that run through our minds whenever we notice our toddlers or other toddlers stumble on their words especially when excited or upset, mumbling words like mmmmmm…..mama, mmmmooooom, tttttt..take, ggggg…give me etc.
learning how to say words or putting them together for kids is a gradual process and yet natural.
It is usually common for children from the ages of 2 to 5years to go through this stuttering stage.
some refer to this as “the developmental stuttering stage.” most kids outgrow stuttering on their own. While others need the help or intervention of a professional.
so, if your child stutters, here is what you need to know about stuttering;
WHAT IS STUTTERING?
Stuttering affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds, also called “disfluencies.”
Most people produce brief disfluencies from time to time. For instance, some words are repeated and others are preceded by “um” or “uh.” Therefore, Disfluencies are not necessarily a problem; however, they can impede communication when a person produces too many of them American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
WebMd defines Stuttering
“as a speech problem in which you may repeat, draw out, not complete, or skip words or sounds without meaning to.”
The problem can range from mild to severe.’
We can see that stuttering is of different forms; repetition of syllable especially at the beginning of the word such as CCC-cat , or prolonging of sounds like ppppp-paper or interruptions in speech with fillers like “um..um..she caught your…umm”. other kids who stutter might have “blocks” .
This is when your child opens his mouth to say something but gets stuck before any sound comes out.
It is worth noting that Girls are more likely than boys to outgrow stuttering Click To Tweet
says the stuttering foundation.
So if a child’s stuttering doesn’t go away, it’s recommended that parents consult a certified speech pathologist.
These are experts who work with individuals and adults with speech ,language ,voice,fluency and other related communication disorders (helps them communicate).
SO WHAT CAUSES STUTTERING?
There is no definite answer to its causes . Experts sometimes point to genetics or faulty connections in the brain (where there is interference in the interaction between language and muscle that controls speech).
WHEN SHOULD STUTTERING BECOME A CONCERN?
Doctors don’t know why this happens.Stuttering may run in the family Click To Tweet
It may be triggered by things like stress or a developmental delay.
In rare cases, stuttering may be caused by brain damage, such as after a head injury or a stroke.
Therefore, efforts should be made in avoiding or aggravating a child’s stuttering which is believed to increase frustration.
In some cases, stuttering goes on its own as the child grows older and as his speeches and languages improves.
On the other hand , its the duty of the parents to observe if their child’s stuttering is getting better or worse.
Therapy or treatment program for children who stutter can vary depending on the child but most involve behavourial approaches.
This could include; Teaching the kid skills on how to control or monitor the speed at which they speak, relaxed ways of speaking and how to control and monitor their breathing.
Children in primary or Grade schools who stutter are advised to see a speec therapist especially if you observe that the child is already aware of his difficulty.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
As parents, we can definitely help our little ones overcome this challenge in a variety of ways , which includes but not limited to
- providing a supportive and acceptable atmosphere is very important
- it is advised to always try and talk calmly and slowly to the child thereby enabling him relax and slow down in his speaking which will be of less stuttering.
- providing a condusive environment for your child to express himself more freely
- Avoid the role of an interrogator or interpreter or interviewer, instead acknowledge what your child says by commenting or responding. Let the child know you are listening and understanding his message.
- Body Language is very important so try as often as possible to face your child when he’s talking to you ,nod in agreement, squat down to their eye level ,etc.
- Highly reduce criticisms or interruptions when speaking to your child
Have you watched your child pass through this stuttering stage? What were the challenges you faced? How did you overcome them? Or is your child still in this phase? What are your obstacles?
We would like to learn from your experiences.
This Article is a contribution from one of our readers …Max,
She is a wife and enjoys parenting.