There are many different ways that speech-language pathologists tackle the treatment for stuttering. Some professionals believe relearning the basic components of speech production will help the condition disappear. In contrast, others think that delving into the child’s perceived psychological challenges is what it takes to cure stuttering. There is no universally accepted treatment program for stuttering. However, the majority of professionals believe that early intervention for stuttering is essential and productive. Below, we look at why it’s thought that early intervention for stuttering is best.
The idea behind early stuttering intervention is that you are then dealing with the stutter when it is only behavioral. What we mean by this is before emotions and cognitions come into play. The symptoms of stuttering, blinking, facial grimaces, avoidance, etc., are signs that a child is trying to stop stuttering. When they know they are stuttering and are being teased, mocked, and corrected; they feel frustration and tension. And this leads to more symptoms. In this way, the earlier the behavior can be identified and treated, the less likely the child will acquire negative emotional reactions, leading to complications and a worsening of the stutter.
Start with an Evaluation
A comprehensive speech and language evaluation can put you on the right track towards figuring out how to help your child. The review will assess if your child is within normal limits for articulation, oral motor skills, hearing, and language. As a parent, you will then be educated and trained on how to help your child. You will learn hands-on strategies to help your child at home with their speech.
What is Normal Disfluency?
Usually, a preschool child will show typical disfluencies common with other preschoolers, like hesitations, interjections, unfinished words, phrase repetitions, and revisions. Less typical or at-risk patterns can point towards stuttering, such as sound repetition, syllable repetition, prolongations of sounds or words, speech blocks, and tense word repetitions.
Will They Outgrow Their Stuttering?
Disfluency in children learning a language is normal, and it will usually resolve on its own. But worldwide, 1-2% of stutterers don’t outgrow this behavior. In fact, the odds of outgrowing a stutter after the age of seven are quite unlikely. The reason is that during this time children are developing their emotions and avoidance behaviors. The children who don’t soon outgrow stuttering and carry on into their adolescent years will most likely complicate the treatment picture due to lost time during the early development stages.
What Does Treatment Look Like for Young Children?
- Identification of risk factors
- Education of the parents
- Management of environmental influences
- Adjustment of speech production patterns
How Can a Parent or Teacher Assist?
As mentioned, bringing attention to the issue, predominantly negative attention, can often make it worse. Instead, offer passive help by modeling slow speech and trying to reduce any time pressure you put on your child when waiting for them to answer or while telling a story.
If you are worried about your child’s speech, there is no harm in discussing your child’s issue with a specialist in child stuttering. As we have seen here, early stuttering intervention is generally more effective than waiting. An evaluation is an excellent place to start, to set your mind at ease.
Unfortunately, 90% of speech professionals (SP’s) never stuttered and the other 10% still stutter. There are very few exceptions. SP’s simply do not understand the problem. Most of these SP’s believe that stuttering is “incurable” and should be “accepted”.
Data change. Fortunately, if you want to learn the secrets on how to stop stuttering forever and the importance of early intervention speech therapy, World Stop Stuttering Association (WSSA) is the answer. Stuttering is being stopped in a high percentage of cases using new methods. WSSA is the world’s only community of EX-stutterers that help PWS. WSSA has a team of Certified Speech Coaches, all of whom have beaten stuttering. They understand the problem, and they have posted nearly 150 Success Stories online. WSSA offers the only methods proven to work and makes them available for a cost approximating one hour of most speech therapist’s time.
WSSA has four goals for its members: (1) Stop stuttering; (2) learn to love to speak in all situations; (3) adopt a lifelong regimen of mind- training to elevate one’s life and (4) join a support system of ex-stutterers that helps you, and others, maintain fluency and convert stuttering into a blessing.
To learn more about how we can help you with stuttering intervention, have a look at our website here.