Stuttering Causes – Dealing with speech problems

There are certain speech problems in your child that you may be able to deal with it yourself. Others may require professional help.

Two common speech problems are described here: speech delay and stuttering.

What is speech delay?

Speech delay is the delay in the development or use of the mechanisms that produce speech (making intelligible sounds). It is closely related to but is different from language development, which is the development or a usage of a language.

There are numerous factors which can influence the age that your child will start to speak. One of them could be related to a poor hearing problem. Most babies should have undergone hearing test in the first year. But if your child is still not saying anything at all by the time he/she is 14 months old, it is suggested to have a re-test. If a child has dyslexia, he/she may have difficulities making sounds which makes up a word.

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is also known as stammering. When a child’s timing mechanism with their speech are not yet fully matured, it may cause a disruption in the way sound is being produced. When this occurs, a child may stutters. Involuntary sound repetition which includes abnormal hesitation or pausing before speech, and the prolongation of certain sounds are common manifestations of stutterings.

Stuttering does not mean that your child is any less intelligent. Apart from their speech impediment, people who stutter may be normal in most cases.

Relating to a child who stutters.

A child who stutters may be made fun of by their peers. This could lead to a loss of self esteem and confidence. It is important to relate well and encourage a child who stutters.

- Be patient. Do not rush or interupt a child to finish a sentence for him/her. Let the child finish the sentence by him/herself.

- Try to reduce stressful situations which may makes it more difficult for the child to speak.

- Give your child full attention and look at him/her in the eye when listening to the child. Do not make it more difficult by being distracted.

- Most people who stutter do not have this problem when they are singing. Encourage your child to sing to build up confidence and self image.

How to help your stuttering child.

There are a few suggested methods you can try at home to help your stuttering child. But it is by no means a replacement for seeking professional help when necessary.

- Lit a candle and let your child whisper into the flame without blowing the flame out. Stuttering is often lessen when a child speak softly.

- Encourage your child to take a deep breath before he/she starts to speak. Continue in between sentences.

- Try singing with your child and have fun. This helps the child to build confidence.

- Seek professional help if needed. Speech therapy may help increase fluency .