Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a communication disorder in which the movement of speech is interrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of tones, syllables, words, or phrases as well as automatic silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stammers is unable to produce sounds.
Stammering can be genetic or copied from another person. However, it will be better for parents to control their children's stammering when young because there is a saying "a tree can only be bent when young". The following are the ways to control your child's stammering;
- Try to provide a relaxed environment.
- Don't interrupt your child while he or she is speaking.
- Speak slowly to your child.
- Encourage your child to talk to you about fun and easy topics.
- Try not to react negatively.
- Set time aside to talk with your child.
- Educate your child's teachers and help them provide a school environment that is accepting and safe from bullying.
- Share your family history of speech and language disorders (if known) with your healthcare provider.
There are few things to notice if your child is developing stammering ability, and these are;
- Using interjections such as “um” or “like,” for example, I am going - um um like...
- Talking slowly or with a lot of pauses
- Stopped or blocked speech. The mouth is open to speaking, but nothing is said.
- Being out of breath or nervous while talking
- Fast eye blinking or trembling or shaking lips when speaking
- Increased stuttering when tired, excited, or under stress
- Being afraid to talk
Most people think stammering can be cured easily but that is not so. Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. There is no cure for stuttering. Early treatment can prevent stuttering from continuing into adulthood. Different techniques are used to teach your child skills that can help him or her speak without stuttering. For example, Psychologists may teach your child to slow down speech and learn to breathe while speaking.
Stammering has ruined the lives of many people in the environment. Here are some complications of stammering;
- Limited participation in some activities
- Lower self-esteem
- Poor school performance
- Social problems
One of the more effective ways to stop a stutter is to talk slowly. Rushing to complete thought can cause you to stammer, speed up your speech, or have trouble getting the words out. Taking a few deep breaths and speaking slowly can help control the stutter.
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