According to Medical science, there is no single or one reason. Different reasons and situations can affect people differently as the stammering pattern for all are not the same. Let us explore some of the reasons which can cause stammering in children.
Is Stammering Hereditary?
Studies confirm that stammering is hereditary and genetics do play an important role. In most cases, a close family member has a stammering problem.
Is Stammering Connected To Delayed Speech Development?
Experts have found a strong link between stammering and other speech related problems in children. Chances of a child stammering are more if he or she also has other speech problems. In this case, it hampers the child’s verbal delivery due to the already delayed speech development. This type of stammer is also known as Developmental Stammering.
What Is Neurogenic Stammering?
Neurogenic Stammering means stammering or stuttering caused by defects or problems in the nervous system. The causes are as follows:
- A stroke or a physical injury to the head affecting the brain
- A heart attack or a blockage stopping the flow of blood to the head
- Tumour in the region of the brain
- Meningitis is also one of the reasons
Does Anxiety and Stress Cause Stammering?
At one time, medical science believed that Psychogenic factors or anxiety and stress were the primary cause. Recent studies have shown that they are not the primary cause but do play an important role and is a trigger. This is also known as Psychogenic stammering.
Recent studies have shown that in some cases, the brain processes speech in a slightly different manner than in people with do not stammer.
Though some children may stammer, but their intelligence or intellectual capabilities are not below others in any way compared to those who do not stammer. Their inability to speak fluently makes them self-conscious, withdrawn and shy fearing embarrassment.
At What Age Should You Worry About Stammering in Children?
Children normally stammer from age one to five years. Interruptions in speech can be irregular and may disappear at times. If the child does not stammer for days together and then stammers a little, it could be excitement or a new learning experience. But if on an average a child stammers more than 10%, it is advisable to consult a Speech therapist.
Is There a Cure for Stammering?
There are various methods to treat or cure stammering, however the benefits of Speech therapy for stammering are much higher than the other treatments.
The cures for stammering are:
- Speech Therapy for Stammering
- CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Using Electronic Feedback Devices
- Parent-Child Interaction
Is Speech Therapy for Stammering Effective?
Speech therapy for stammering in children is the most effective treatment. Once the diagnosis of stammering is confirmed, start regular speech therapy exercises. A speech therapist can cure stammering in children as well as adults.
Share the child’s medical history with the speech therapist to enable them to understand the case better. Once the speech therapist is familiar with the child’s medical history, he or she will start with the speech therapy exercises.
The speech therapy exercises help in strengthening the organs responsible for speech. Breathing exercises are also an important part of the therapy. The exercises help in strengthening the following parts responsible for speech:
- The tongue
- Lips and facial muscles
- The windpipe or the trachea
What Are the Speech Therapy Exercises for Stammering?
The speech therapist will customise the exercises as all cases of stammering are not identical. Some of the common exercises are as under:
Strengthening Of The Tongue And Jaws
The child should keep the mouth open and roll back the tongue. The tongue should touch the roof of the mouth towards the back as close to the throat as possible.
Now roll the tongue out and stretch it in the front, the tongue should come out of the mouth and try to reach the chin. Exercising daily strengthens the tongue. Keeping the mouth open for the tongue exercises also helps to strengthen the jaw muscles.
The Straw Speech Therapy Technique
Drinking through or sucking is a helpful speech therapy exercise. The sucking action keeps the tongue stationed throughout the sucking procedure. This helps in tongue control.
The Pause And Speak Speech Therapy Technique
The child should pause after every two to three words in a pre-decided manner. This gives them a better speech control and helps in reducing stammering.
Breathing Exercises To Reduce Stammering