- by Medikoe Health Expert
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- Mar 03 2018
How do you help a child with a Stammer?
What is stammering?
Stammer is also called as stuttering and it is defined as a speech disorder. In this condition, the words may seem to get stuck or they are repeated over and over. You may also pause at certain syllables. It affects people of all ages but it is mostly seen in children of age 2 to 6. About 75% of children lose this habit of shuttering with time. Remaining 25% experience this disorder throughout adulthood.
It can’t be completely cured but there are few things that can be done to improve the speech.
Types of Stammering
It is of two types:
1. Developmental Stammering
It commonly affects children below five years of age during the development of their communicative abilities. It is said to be more common in boys.
2. Acquired Stammering
It is acquired in later years or even in adulthood. It can be further classified into neurogenic and psychogenic.
i. Neurogenic Type: It is caused by incidents that cause abnormalities in the signals between the brain and the speech muscles. It can be the result of head injuries, tumors, strokes, drug abuse, etc.
ii. Psychogenic Type: Stammering due to the result of a traumatic experience associated with grief or stress due to various reasons is called as psychogenic.
Characteristics of Stammering
Repetition of words, syllables, sounds, and a disrupted speech rate are the main characteristics of stammering. Stress that arises in pronouncing certain sounds can be manifested as:
- Facial tics, trembling lips, eye blinking, tension in the upper body.
- Frustration, hesitation, fear, and refusal to speak.
- Long sounds and intercalation of extra sounds or syllables in between words.
- Incomplete development of speech and language.
- Injuries of the brain or the sound producing organs.
- Tumors, strokes, or drug abuse.
- Extreme grief and chronic stress affect the part of the brain that controls the reasoning and thinking process.
- Speech therapy for fluent speech aim at removing the disruptions in speech and improving the self-esteem of the patient. It controls the pattern of speech by encouraging the monitoring of the speech rate, the breath, and the laryngeal tension.
- Electronic devices such as hearing aids worn to create a background noise that helps stimulate distraction and in turn reduces self-consciousness and stuttering.
- There are medicines that are used to treat stammering and reduce it by 50%.
- Joining the support group, listening and sharing experiences, and realizing that there are other people with the same condition improves the attitude and confidence of the Stammerer.
- Creating and maintaining the stress-free surroundings are important in stammering therapies.
- There are exercises that aim at strengthening the organs that are associated with speech and generate sounds, such as the tongue, lips, jaw, trachea, and lungs.
- Chewing certain foods also helps in getting rid of stammering.
“The most important thing to keep in mind is that the condition is no crime, and it is okay to stutter.”
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