Every parent of a young child should watch him or her closely to see if their language and speech skills develop properly. One particular problem to watch for is stuttering, or stammering. This condition can cause the child to face social discrimination and other difficulties if is not treated. Here is a closer look at what parents need to know about this troublesome speech disorder.
A variety of issues may cause a child to stutter. One of the most common causes is genetics. If you or your spouse have had problems with stuttering, then it's possible that the condition was passed on to your child. Research shows that about 60 percent of stutterers have a family member with the condition. In some instances, a child's brain may simply process language differently from most other children. Why the child has this difference in language processing in unknown.
Stuttering is not always permanent. Many young children who stutter or stammer outgrow the condition when they get older. It can be difficult for a parent to determine when a child's stuttering needs intervention from a professional speech therapist. In general, if you have a youngster who is 3 or older and has been stuttering for 3 to 6 months, then its probably a good idea to have them evaluated, according to the medical website WebMD.
If your child appears to need assistance with his stuttering, then it's time to find a speech therapist, also known as a speech-language pathologist, or SLP. If your child is old enough to attend school, then contact the school for assistance, as schools are obligated to provide therapy for children with speech difficulties. If you have a younger child who is not in school, then contact your health insurer to see if they pay for pediatric speech therapy.
Studies show that children who get help from an SLP benefit from the treatment in most cases. Children in school who get treatment lower their stuttering frequency by more than 60 percent, according to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association.
If your young child is stutters occasionally, there is no need to panic. Often, the problem goes away on its own. Even if the stuttering does not go away, help is available that can either eliminate the problem or bring it under control. If you have any concerns about stuttering in your young child, contact a speech therapist or a professional like those at Achieve Center for more information.