What Is Stuttering
The Emotional Effects of Stuttering on Children
What Is Stuttering
Stuttering is a speech disorder where the individual’s natural flow of speech is disrupted by frequent repetitions or prolongations of certain sounds, syllables and words. Sometimes, this makes it impossible to even start a word.
Aside from difficulty in speaking, this is usually accompanied by raid eye blinks, tremors of the lips or jaw and in the upper body. Stress makes the situation even worse when he or she has to speak to a large crowd or talk on the phone. However, this changes when one is singing or speaking alone.
This disorder is also known as stammering. It should be pointed out that this is different from two other speech disorders namely cluttering and spasmodic dysphonia.
Studies show that there are 3 million Americans that stutter. This starts at the age of 2 to 6 since this is the time that they are still developing language. This ratio between boys and girls is 3 to 1. The good news is that many children outgrow this and only a small percentage of those who suffer are adults.
To prove a point, some of the best speakers in the world that had stuttering in their early childhood include Bruce Willis, Carly Simon, James Earl Jones and Mel Tillis. You may not believe it but these people overcame this challenge.
But what causes people to stutter? There are many forms and some scientists believe that this is genetic because it is developmental. Others argue that this is neurogenic which means that signal problems between the brain and the nerves causes this to happen.
As a result, the brain is not able to coordinate properly the different components of speech. This can also happen if the person suffered from a stroke or other form of brain injury.
Stuttering may also originate in the mind or what is known as psychogenic but this only accounts for a small number of sufferers.
The best person to diagnose if you are stuttering is with the help of a speech language pathologist even if it is quite obvious by how you speak. This person is trained to conduct a variety of tests so it will be easy to prescribe proper treatment.
But at present, there is no available cure for stuttering. Treatment can only improve the person’s condition given that the majority of those who stutter are “behavioural.”
The program is designed to teach the patient to monitor the rate at which they speak. They will also learn to say words slower usually short phrases first until such time that they can speak much faster and longer sentences. Follow up sessions are needed to prevent relapse making this a lifelong problem.
Aside from the patient, the parents should also be educated so they know what to do when you stutter. It is best that they provide a relaxed home environment that allows the child to speak. If the child should stutter, they should refrain from criticizing as this has negative effects. Parents can also help by speaking slowly and in a relaxed manner as this will also be followed.
Some doctors have utilized medications and electronic devices to treat stuttering. Unfortunately, the use of drugs often causes side effects and relying on a machine makes it hard to carry around especially when there are other people around.
Back with you with Understanding Stuttering
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There are a lot of times when we encounter people with speech impediments. Some are brought about by stress, some are brought about by after surgery wounds and some are from birth. These impediments vary from lisps, stuttering, stammering and hair lips. Some are easily curable but some may just as be psychological in symptoms and causes. Understanding it needs a lot of open mindedness and patience.
What is stuttering?
One of the major speech impediments that haunts people—both young and old—nowadays is stuttering. Stuttering refers to an impediment in speech. This is accompanied by symptoms like repeating or prolonged syllabication of a word, repetition of a single syllable or repetition of whole phrases or stopping anytime during the utterance of a sentence and sometimes it also involves not producing the sound for a certain syllable, word or sentence.
There are a lot of factors involved in the worsening or alleviation of a person’s stuttering. Most of the time environmental factors, human intervention, drugs and other things and situations around a person's living space or environment, of these factors affect stuttering adversely. In most cases it causes stuttering to occur more often and in extended periods.
Factors like stress, fatigue, over excitement and nervousness can effectively make stuttering in a person worse. Other than these situations in which you are put on the spot, situations where you are asked to publicly speak in front of an audience. Or it could be worsen by asking to explain on the spot or generally speaking about things that you have little knowledge of.
Generally, stuttering becomes a defence mechanism in people that are put in an embarrassing situation or situation that would make them feel rejection. And essentially when people are in a state of relaxation they become less prone to any stuttering.
People of all ages can fall victim to stuttering. In adults the effects of stuttering are rooted early in their lives, but as adults stuttering completely affect their social skills and their adult lives in general. People—adults—with stutters are often times put to the sidelines because when the need to speak up arises they are burdened by their stuttering. Aside from the fact that it is difficult for them to have a normal relationship with other people, this is because communication is hindered by the person's stutter.
Stuttering develops early on in a person's life. It is especially common with developing children, usually at the time when they are learning how to speak; this is usually at the age of 2 up to 5 years old. While most of the time majority of children outgrow the problem of stuttering on their own, yet there are those who bring with them stuttering in their late toddler years. For the children who were not able to outgrow the problem of stuttering there are specialized doctors and facilities that offer speech therapy. These therapies help children with stuttering problems live a normal life that is free from stuttering.
There are studies that show that the living conditions at home play a big role in the development and the discontinuing of stuttering in children and in adults. Since the root cause of stuttering in all ages is stress and anxiety, it is highly recommended for parents and family members to have an open mind about children that stutter.
Understanding where they are coming from and building confidence in the child guarantees for them that they will win the fight against stuttering.
The Emotional Effects of
Stuttering on Children
Many people don’t realize it but stuttering greatly affects the emotional state of a person, especially that of a child. The emotional effects of stuttering on children alone are very much devastating on his or her emotional health. Not only that, stuttering unfavourably affects not just a child's social skills but his or her communication skills as well.
Because of stuttering, many kids think that making friends and building relationships become very disappointing and sometimes traumatizing. Having to live through stuttering at this stage in a person's life is very awkward and painful. Friends also don't come easy for children with stutters according to research kids with a stutter often have to cope with bullying from peers and classmates.
Studies say that 40 percent of school-aged kids who suffer from stuttering reveal that they been a victim of teasing, bullying, name-calling and worst of all, experienced physical harassment because of their condition. They confess that just because they don't speak too well, other kids simply don’t respect them and don’t listen when they try to say something.
The tendency of this inability to express one's self is for stuttering kids to be introverts, always veering away from crowds who might judge and tease them.
Majority of school administrators also agrees that children that stutter are bullied 82 percent of the time inside the classroom, within the school vicinity, and even outside the school premises. This is because many kids without speech problems try to make fun of them especially when there's no adult nearby.
Kids get their self-confidence and esteem from the people around them, people like their families, authority figures or people outside their family unit that they look up to and of course their localized peer group. As children become more mature, the influence that their friends have on them steadily increases and the need to be part of a bigger stratum in society becomes more prevalent.
Children suffering from stuttering are often set aside and picked last or not picked at all to join any of the related activities of a certain group.
This makes them feel that they are unwanted, resulting to low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, mood swings, lack of initiative, depression attacks, and a weak personality in the long run.
What can be done?
Parents and teachers can greatly help a lot to lessen the emotional effects on shuttering on children. This is because they can directly affect how the child with stuttering problems think and socialize with others.
For parents, they should always give their full support to their kids that suffer from stuttering no matter what. They should be able to explain to their kids what is their condition, its causes, how it happens, and what could be done about it to make kids feel that they are not alone in dealing with the problem.
Parents must always provide their kids an environment that where they can feel safe, loved, and nurtured for them to overcome the condition at their own pace.
Teachers can also play a big role in helping minimize the effects of stuttering on kids. This is by extending a helping hand and more patience to child in the school setting.
Teachers must realize that kids who stutter tend to lose self-esteem quickly so they must do something to make the child understand that he or she is not inferior compared to other classmates.
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