The term stuttering means disruption in the flow of speech. At times we all tend to add “uh” or “you know” to what we say and we do not speak smoothly. Or, we may say a sound or word more than once and become dis fluent.These disfluencies are normal if they happen every once in a while. When it happens a lot, it may be stuttering.
Stuttering usually is seen in young children which is called Developmental Stuttering, also it can occur in adults called Acquired stuttering.
Causes of Stuttering:
Stuttering usually starts between 2 and 6 years old. There is no one cause of stuttering. Possible causes include the following:
1.Family history. Many people who stutter have a family member who also stutters.
2.Brain differences. People who stutter may have small differences in the way the brain works during speech
People who stutter may have the following types of disfluencies:
1.Blocks– This happens when you have a hard time getting a word out.You may pause for long time or not be able to make a sound. For example, “I want a …… cookie.”
2.Prolongations– You may stretch a sound out for a long time, like coooookie.
3.Repetitions– You may repeat parts of words, like co-co-co-cookie.
It is very important to visit the best Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) for checkup.
Following factors an SLP look at to check shuttering:
1. Child’s speech and language skills
2. How often the child is stuttering
3. How the child & others reacts when he/she stutters
4. How stuttering impacts child’s everyday life
Treatment for Stuttering:
- For children who are 2–6 years old, treatment may focus on either of these two things:
- Direct strategies—working with child to change how he/she speaks. The speech language therapist uses some techniques and analogies to reduce the disfluencies eg. Lilly pad technique.
- Indirect strategies—finding ways to make it easier for the child to talk. This may include speaking in speaking slowly and asking fewer questions.
- For adults the management of stuttering focuses on fluency rather than stuttering, i.e speak more fluently. Various techniques are used by the SLP in the treatment process eg: Airflow therapies.