A speech disorder in which an individual finds it difficult to talk fluently is the problem of stuttering speech therapy. In this an individual may repeat a particular word or syllable before he or she can complete the word or sentence. The problem of stuttering is only with fluency. Essentially in the problem of stuttering, the person clearly knows what they want to communicate but find it difficult to speak a particular word to complete the sentence.
This problem of stuttering may arise due to different reasons, but it impacts the confidence level of the person. It becomes tough to hold the conversation and this deeply affects the interpersonal relationships of the people. While some people sympathize with the individual dealing with the problem of stuttering, there is also a group that mocks and gets annoyed when someone stutters. Hence, the stuttering speech therapy becomes important to cure this common speech disorder.
Causes of stuttering speech disorder
Identification of the exact cause of stuttering disorder is not possible. However, there are two classifications of the causes of stuttering speech disorder. The main causes of this problem are as follows:
Developmental stuttering is one of the most common causes for stuttering speech disorder. The developmental stuttering arises at a young age when the child is still learning language and speech skills. As per research, this arises when the child’s speech and language abilities are incapable of meeting the verbal demands. The developmental stuttering is identifiable with brain imaging study. Cases show that the brain imaging of people dealing with stuttering differs greatly from those who do not have any speech disorder. Talking about developmental stuttering, it may also be genetic and may run in the family.
This is the next category of classifying the causes of stuttering. While developmental stuttering occurs at a young age, neurogenic stuttering arises after a stroke, brain injury or head trauma. Cases of strokes, brain injury or head trauma impacts the functioning of the brain. It causes trouble in communicating the signals within the brain and hence comes in effect with speech disorders.
Treatment of stuttering:
So, a cure for the problem of stuttering does not exist, but it is always possible to treat the problem of stuttering with therapies. Below are some popular treatments for the stuttering speech disorder:
This therapy mainly focuses on providing assistance to teens and adults. With professional help, the idea is to reduce stuttering while speaking. Some common ways that stuttering therapy uses is to encourage slow speaking. When you speak fast, you tend to create an imbalance in thoughts and the communication of the same. Another key practice is to regulate breathing while talking. This helps in keeping the breath normal and keeps the mind calm. Also, there are times when anxiety causes the problem of stuttering. With stuttering therapy, due attention is given to managing anxiety and building confidence.
There is no approved drug for treating the problem of stuttering. However, there are several cases in which the main reason for stuttering can be epilepsy, anxiety or depression. So if one is able to take some medication and improve these conditions then it will definitely prove to be effective for treating stuttering as well. Since every drug comes with its own side effects, it is not possible to take drug therapy as a treatment for stuttering for a long time. Basically, the drug therapy can be an immediate and short term solution for stuttering speech therapy but can be effective in treating anxiety, depression, etc.
Apart from stuttering therapy and drug therapy, electronic devices prove to be helpful for treating stuttering. People facing the problem of stuttering speech therapy sometimes use electronic devices that help in controlling fluency. To illustrate, there is a small device like the hearing aid that fits in the ear. This device slightly alters the version of the wearer’s voice and digitally replays the sound. With this the person feels that he or she is speaking in unison with another person.
These electronic devices tend to improve fluency in a rather short time period. Hence electronic devices can prove to be helpful. The question that remains is how long term is the impact of these electronic devices in treating the stuttering speaking disorder.
There are also people who believe in achieving their biggest success with a combination of self-study and therapy. With self-help groups, people who stutter can find resources and support in beating the challenges of stuttering.
Therapy for children
Clearly, what works for teenagers and elders may not be that effective for children of younger age. Hence treating stuttering for children requires parents to follow some of the following points:
- Focus on giving a relaxed home environment wherein the children get enough opportunity to speak. So make sure you listen to your child when he or she is excited to tell something.
- Make sure you are not interrupting and correcting the child on how to speak. Listen to the content and your child will gradually learn the right way to speak.
- Speaking slowly and in a relaxed manner is important. This does not bring a pressure on the child and they can be more comfortable in communicating properly.
- Never complete your child’s sentences. Give them time to speak the intended word. Even when your child stutters have the patience to let them complete their thoughts.
The speech disorder of stuttering speech therapy can not just impact your interpersonal relationships. It can also negatively impact your confidence level, professional and financial growth. While it may seem a very challenging disorder, in reality, it is possible to reverse this problem of stuttering. All you need is a consistent effort and the help of a professional stuttering therapist to become fluent in communication.