Stuttering in Children: Causes and Treatment
One of the biggest speech problems is stuttering in children, and this condition can cause embarrassment and shame in the child. What causes stuttering though, and how can it be treated? According to speech experts stuttering in children and other common speech impediments are caused by a number of different factors. Genetics plays a role in stuttering, and this has been shown because this condition has a tendency to run in families and usually affects more than one family member. Speech disorders in children, including stuttering, can also be caused by developmental factors. Children who are going through a rapid stage of development may stutter, but this condition is commonly seen starting in preschool.
Stuttering in children can be exaggerated by stress, and the fear of stuttering can make this condition worse in some children. Some other factors which may contribute to stuttering and other phonological disorder conditions can be environmental. It is almost impossible to pinpoint the specific cause of stuttering in children most of the time though because of the combination of factors that are possible. Even though the cause may not be known, there are treatment options available for children who suffer from this condition. In some cases no treatment may become necessary, because this condition may disappear as the child gets older, but many cases require some type of treatment to eliminate the condition and help the child learn to speak properly.
Treatment for stuttering in children can include formal speech therapy, as well is exercises that the child can practice at home. This is also the treatment used for cluttering and certain other speech disorders. Treatment starts with the child staying a single word in a manner that is slow and relaxed. This exercise is repeated frequently, and the number of words which are said is slowly increased until the child has reached complete sentences without any stuttering. Through these exercises the child learns to monitor themselves so that they relax and their speech is clear. Sometimes this technique may be helpful for verbal apraxia as well, and may be used by some speech therapists in other situations and for other speech disorders in addition to stuttering.