What Causes Stuttering In Children And When To Seek Help?

stuttering in children

Stuttering, also known as stammering is a speech problem making it hard for kids to speak smoothly. Most kids between the ages of 2-5 go through a stage when they stutter repeating certain phrases, word or syllables. In most cases, a parent does not need to worry when a child stutters because it eventually goes away on its own by age 5. However, there are cases where a child will stutter for a prolonged period of time than it is normal. When this happens, as a parent you need to be more concerned. To understand this condition better, let’s first look at types of stuttering and what causes it in children.

Types Of Stuttering

  • Psychogenic stuttering: This type of stuttering is not common and it is mostly triggered after a child undergoes through an emotional trauma. It can also happen due to overthinking or reasoning a lot.
  • Neurogenic stuttering: Tis type of stuttering may happen after a brain injury or stroke. Stuttering happens when signals cannot be properly transmitted between the brain, muscles and nerves involved in speech.
  • Development stuttering: This type of stuttering is common in children and usually takes place between the ages of 2 and 5. It may happen when the language and speech development of a child lags behind what he or she wants or needs to say.

When it comes to what causes stuttering, doctors are yet to establish the root problem of dysfluency. Development stuttering is believed to be genetic and that it may be passed down from parents to children. Most parents have a misconception that children stutter when they are stressed or anxious. This is not true. However, stuttering can cause stress to children since they cannot control it

When To Seek Help

If your child is more than 5 years old and stuttering, you need to talk to a speech-therapist. Other signs that may indicate that your child’s stuttering is not normal and may need to consult a speech therapist include:

  • You may have concerns about your child’s speech
  • Your child is afraid to speak because of stuttering
  • You notice your child changes words so as to avoid stuttering
  • There is increased tightness or facial tension during speech.
  • Increased prolongation of words
  • Repetition of syllables start occurring more than often
  • Speech starts to be strained or difficult

How Parents Can Help Their Stuttering Children

The steps below can be used to assist your child:

  • During family meals, try to avoid distractions such as TV or radio
  • Avoid interrupting your child when he or she is talking y telling him or her to start over
  • Try to create a calm atmosphere at home
  • Be talking slowly to your child. This will help boost a child’s fluency in his or her speech
  • Try and avoid your child from having to speak or read aloud when they are not comfortable doing it.

In conclusion, stuttering can be cured, treated or avoided simply by parents observing their children. Additionally, parents should take their children to visit an E.N.T (ear, nose and throat) child specialist to check that the key organs involved in facilitating the processes of hearing, speech and language are in order.