Stuttering – what parents need to know

Stuttering – what parents need to know

Stuttering impacts upon approximately 1% of the population whether it be children, adolescents or adults. This affliction usually starts in early childhood before the commencement of school and may have either a gradual or sudden onset to the symptoms seen or experienced.

What causes stuttering?

No one knows exactly what causes stuttering to occur, however, it is thought it involves a functional difference of speech production in the brains of people who stutter.

It’s commonly believed stuttering is an inherited trait with a strong genetic basis often seen in affected children, adolescents or adults who stutter. Individuals who stutter may find their stuttering stressful, which can exacerbate the issue.

Can stuttering be cured?

Stuttering may change in its severity and present characteristics over time. It may increase, decrease or disappear for a length of time.

Speech therapy targeting stuttering is proven to reduce the stuttering severity and assist management of stuttering for children, adolescents and adults alike.

What do I do if my child has a stuttering problem?

Early intervention and immediate action is the best recommendation for a child who starts to stutter. Research shows that therapy targeting stuttering has the best results when children are younger.

What are the different types of stuttering?

Stuttering may present in a number of different forms. It may be evident as initial sound repetitions eg. “d-d-dog”, syllable repetitions eg. “ba-ba-baby” or whole word repetition eg. “My, my, my”.

These repetitions may occur a few times or numerous times depending on the severity of the stutter.

Other stuttering characteristics include prolongations and blocks. Sounds being stretched when spoken are known as prolongations eg. “I waaaaant my toy”.

Blocks are when someone is trying to speak but no sound is heard and is often accompanied by blinking or other body movements.

What is the treatment for stuttering?

There are a number of different treatment approaches used to reduce stuttering. The approach used by a speech pathologist will depend on the age of the individual, the severity of the stutter and length of time the stutter has been present.

The Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention is the most common stuttering treatment technique used with younger children.

Speech Pathologists are qualified to provide assessment and treatment of stuttering. Intervention should be provided as soon as possible to stuttering commencement to reduce the impact on daily life for children, adolescents and adults alike.

Contact us today for an appointment. Our speech pathologists can help assess the stuttering and can create a treatment plan to help reduce stuttering.

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