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What you need to know if your child has a stuttering disorder.

Stuttering is a common problem among young children who’re learning and developing their speech and language abilities. Children with this speech problem find it hard to speak smoothly in any kind of environment. The first signs of stuttering may appear when a child is about 18 – 24 months old and may either stop by the time the child reaches 5 years of age, or continue into adulthood. At Milestone Therapy Group, we’re committed to helping children affected by stuttering through licensed and certified speech therapists with considerable experience in handling a range of speech disabilities. Here’s a short compilation of facts and practices that will help you understand the problem of stuttering and take the right steps towards helping your child overcome this speech disorder.

The signs

*Difficulty saying a word, phrase or sentence

*Prolonging a word or sounds within a word

*Repetition of certain sounds, syllables or words

*Addition of words like ‘um’ in sentences

*Tension in the face or upper body while speaking

*Frequent blinking of eyes

*Lip tremors

*Jerking of head, clenching of the fists

The causes

Stuttering may be caused by any of the following factors:

Family history: A child who has a family member with a stuttering problem is likely to inherit the same abnormality.

Brain variations: Children who stutter may have slight differences in the way their brains function during speech.

Speech motor control abnormalities: Anomalies in speech motor control involving timing, sensory and motor coordination could be a factor too. Brain injury or disorders: Factors like a stroke, traumatic injury or disorders can cause the child’s speech to be slow, have pauses or repeated sounds.

Ways to help reduce your child’s stuttering

*Speak with your child at a slower than normal speed

When you speak slowly, your speech pattern will help your child to learn what a more fluent and smoother way of speaking sounds like. Another benefit is, your child will feel less rushed and realize he/she can take more time to respond which will help him/her be more fluent. 

*Lower the demands on your child

A child with a stuttering problem may feel stressed or anxious on being expected to answer too many questions. In fact, the pressure may actually end up worsening his or her stutter. A better strategy would be to allow your child to speak at his or her own pace. 

*Listen more to your child

Children who stutter feel a whole lot better knowing they have someone who cares and is around to patiently hear what they wish to say. Dedicating quality listening time for your child everyday can help make a significant difference in his or her speech attitude and ability.

*Be on your child’s side 

Children who stutter are sensitive to the comments that they hear, when struggling to get their words right. If you see your child stutter, show that you understand with a “That was a difficult word to say!” kind of comment or perhaps “Don’t worry, let’s try saying that again!” Positive verbal responses from you will impact the way your child deals with his or her speech issue. 

Please note, the above mentioned strategies are commonly recommended practices that may help you lessen the symptoms of stuttering in your child, but these cannot be counted on to deliver the efficacy and results that you could expect with a licensed and certified speech therapist. At Milestone Therapy Group, we came into existence with the sole purpose of helping children with stuttering and other types of speech disorders find their path to normal and healthy childhoods. Our family of licensed and certified speech therapists has grown over the years and so has the number of children getting successfully treated under our caring and expert watch. Do feel free to book a consultation with us and let’s get started helping your child take those first steps towards speaking without difficulties.