Stammering - Know About Its Cause And Treatment

Stammering - Know About Its Cause And Treatment!

Stammering or stuttering is a speech disorder that interrupts the smooth flow of a person’s speech and disrupts or makes it difficult to communicate with others. It is mostly noticed in young children, which usually goes away with age, while for older children and adults, it remains the same.

A few characteristics of stammering are as follows:

  • A problem in starting a particular word
  • Repetition of syllables and even phrases
  • Unnecessary pauses in speech production
  • Taking a longer time to speak
  • Excessive tension and tightening, evident in body language

You may also notice hesitation, restlessness, trembling lips, quick eye blinking, pressing and rubbing fists or foot tapping while the person is trying to form a speech.

Stammering can be mild or severe. While in mild cases, it may lower your self-esteem, in severe cases it may result in ischemic attacks, which means blockage of blood flow to the brain or diseases like Parkinson’s.

Types and causes of stammering:

Developmental stuttering is common in young children, between the ages of 2 to 5. Their speech is delayed and language skills are not properly developed. This could be an inherited issue. The condition is usually resolved on its own and does not require any treatment.

Neurogenic Stammering is caused when there is a dysfunction or abnormality between the brain and the nerves or muscle. It happens when the coordination is hampered due to some previous brain injury or stroke.

The third type of stammering is Psychogenic, which occurs in the brain and may be a result of emotional trauma and distress. It also affects one’s thinking and reasoning capabilities.

Diagnosis of stammering:
Parents must notice if a child’s stammering persists for longer than 6 months. Observe his / her body language while speaking and check if your child has a delayed speech. You should seek help from a certified speech-language pathologist who will evaluate your child’s condition and treat accordingly. In case you are an adult who suffers from stammering, learn about your family history, check for any underlying health conditions or previous treatments. Ask for medical help to better understand the root cause of your problem, which could be stress, anxiety, or past relationships that affected you.
Treatment for stammering:
Depending on a person’s age, type of stammering and assessment, a specific approach is taken to treat an individual. It may be different for each patient.

  • Speech therapy – This majorly focuses on your rate of speech, breathing and tension. It uses therapeutic measures to help the patient feel less self-conscious and encourages him to slow down whenever he stutters and avoid trigger words while talking. Over time, it regulates breathing, eases tension and normalizes the speech timing and pattern.
  • Behavioural therapy – This is a kind of psychotherapy that monitors your behaviour and relieves stress, anxiety by helping you gain confidence while speaking. The environmental influence on the individual is an important factor in this case.
  • Increased interaction – Parent-child interaction has a key role to play in helping someone who stammers, cope up. Self-help groups are also beneficial in such cases. Be a good listener, speak slowly, be patient, boost his confidence and do not criticise the person for stammering.
  • Exercises – This is another effective way to reduce stammering in children. These exercises include strengthening the speech organs like the lungs, tongue, trachea, lips and the jaw. It gives more control of the speech muscles to the person facing difficulty and obstruction while speaking.

Treatment can significantly improve or even cure the problem of stammering. If untreated, stammering can get worse and prove to be dangerous. Early detection and treatment with patience can help one recover from stammering.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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