Stuttering In Children: Long Term Effects
Stuttering is a speech disorder that commonly appears in children between the ages of two and five; although it can commence at any age. Causing a breakdown in the production and flow of speech, it can result in word or phrase repetitions as well as being characterized by the stretching of sounds. There are many occasions where stuttering resolves naturally without intervention. If it doesn’t, however, the longer it is left, the more difficult it can be to treat.
Long term effects of stuttering
Without early intervention, stuttering in children can have a long-term impact on their development. It is not uncommon to see an effect on a child’s:
• emotional development;
• ability to perform academically; or
• social development.
Whilst stuttering is a physical disorder, further anxiety or stressful situations can actually make it worse for the child.
Stuttering can cause a child to experience a range of negative emotions including having low self-confidence, feeling embarrassed and ashamed and being frustrated at their inability to construct sentences with clarity.
As a result, some may withdraw from interacting with others at school and from contributing in class and this can lead to further academic concerns. The longer these withdrawals last, the more vulnerable and anxious a child can become.
Triggers can differ in those who stutter
Children who stutter are known to be more sensitive in particular situations. Even elevated excitement can increase a child’s stuttering. It is essential that parents pay close attention to the triggers that cause stuttering and seek help from a qualified professional. A speech therapist can empower children with a range of techniques to help them minimize the frequency, severity and even duration of each episode.
Is there a cure for stuttering?
There is no known cure for stuttering, however working with an expert in speech will help children as well as teenagers and adults make significant progress towards overcoming it.
Should I seek a professional advice? If you suspect your child may be stuttering it is wise to seek help from a qualified speech pathologist who can assess your child and offer an appropriate level of service and treatment. The best prevention is early intervention.
Vince Borg, Sarah Young, Vicky Andrews and Emma Lorenzin all have a special interest in speech development and language difficulty. Book your child an appointment with a speech therapist at Box Hill Speech Pathology Clinic on (03) 9899 5494 or direct your child speech therapy questions to email@example.com.
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