Stuttering is one of many forms of a speech disorder that speech therapy, also known as speech language pathology, can help correct. The disorder is diagnosed when a child has constant interruptions in his or her flow of speech. Most times, these children do not feel like they have control over their speech, which can interfere with their communication in their everyday lives. At Stockton Hearing & Speech Center in Stockton, Calif., we provide speech therapy services for a variety of communication issues your child might be struggling with.
Speech, language and communication needs are the most common types of special education needs in 4 to 11 year old children, according to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Stuttering typically develops in a child’s earlier years, when they’re between the ages of 2 and 4 years old, and although the speech disorder eventually goes away on its own for some children, others recover only after speech therapy treatments. Contact Stockton Hearing today to see how our team of experts can help with your child’s stutter.
What causes stuttering?
Speech fluency is the flow of a child’s speech, and stuttering occurs when that flow of speech is regularly interrupted. Certain situations, such as talking to strangers or feeling rushed, can increase the severity of your child’s stutter. These are some common symptoms children with a stutter might display:
- Constant repetitions of sounds, syllables, words or phrases
- Prolongations of sounds
- When the mouth is positioned to make a sound but no sound comes out
- Secondary behaviors, such as tension in the upper body and face or rapid blinking
It is unknown why children develop a stutter, but research has shown the brain structure and function of people who stutter is different from those who don’t stutter. Genetics can also play a role, as well as environmental factors like your child’s friends and family.
How does speech therapy help?
Speech therapists use a variety of theories and practices to help your child manage his or her stutter. Therapists use formal and informal tests to evaluate your child’s speech fluency, and they’ll note the type of symptoms your child is displaying. After that, they’ll develop an individualized treatment plan, which might include a collaboration with another professional such as a teacher, nurse, occupational therapist or doctor.
According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, another treatment speech therapists use are “behavioral programs,” which are designed to teach your child specific skills that lead to overall improved oral communication. For example, a speech therapist might teach your child to speak slightly slower and in a less physically tense manner. The therapist might also suggest that your child learn to control his or her breathing.
Treatments take time, but with practice and persistence, stuttering can be easily cured.
How Stockton Hearing & Speech Center can help
At Stockton Hearing & Speech Center, we have experts who will help you every step of the way when treating your child’s stutter. We know the importance of communication in your child’s everyday life and routine, and we want to help them communicate more effectively and efficiently.
If you have any further questions regarding our speech therapy programs or would like to schedule an appointment with our team of hearing experts, call (209) 951-6491 or request an appointment on our online form. We look forward to hearing from you!