When to Consult Speech Therapist If child is Stammering

During initial years of life, child’s brain is growing very fast. Initial 2-5 years of life are very crucial for language development. During early years of life, child is processing many new words. Child can get stammering behavior due to increased demand. Nearly 75 percent of pre-school children comes out of stammering as they grow. But, remaining can convert into stammering if not treated timely. It can further develop into adult stammerer, thus affecting their self esteem, jobs, personal life etc.

Parents should look for following behaviors to differentiate between normal non-fluency and beginning stammering.

  • Child is stammering more frequently in conversation.
  • Stammering started at or after 3 years of age.
  • There is family history of stammering
  • Child is stammering along with signs of tension.
  • Child is stammering along with signs of secondary behaviors such as eye blinking, hand fidgeting, leg shaking etc,
  • Child is avoiding to speak in front of strangers.

It’s always important to consult Speech Therapist to rule out cause of stammering. Once child has started going to school, stammering comes to notice even more frequently. As child becomes aware about stammering, he/she starts avoiding speaking situations thus develop fear of speaking, muscle tension and increase in stammering behavior. The most common advice to parents by people around is to wait for automatically recover, but it’s better to take advice and guidance from Speech Therapist. Stammering in childhood should be handled carefully and patiently. Most important advice to parents or caregivers is not to interrupt and aware the child while stammering.

Stammering is most common speech disorder found in children. Stammering is complex entity where the fluency of speech output is affected by either blocks, repetitions, prolongations or hesitations. There are secondary behaviors also. Breathing pattern needs to be identify while assessment. Stammering has a feature of relapse thus regular practice is important.



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