Stuttering in Children

Stuttering in children, symptoms, causes and treatment

It is one of the disorders that most worries parents because of its difficulty to diagnose it at an early age and because of the way it tends to develop, becoming a problem when it interferes in everyday speech. It is important to keep in mind that it has nothing to do with intelligence.

What is Stuttering in Children?

Stuttering, also known as dysphemia, is a difficulty in the rhythm of speech, in which words or phrases are frequently repeated and there is hesitation in expressing oneself. It is characterized by uncontrollable disfluencies accompanied by peculiar muscle patterns and accompanying adverse ideas and feelings.

It is important to differentiate it from developmental dysphemia, which is a stage through which some children pass and which resolves on its own. This phase of repetitions or blocks usually appears between 2 and 4 years of age and is due to the fact that the child is developing a new skill, such as walking.

Taking into account that this phase usually lasts about six months, if these disfluencies do not disappear by themselves, it would be convenient to visit a speech therapist for an evaluation.

Causes of child stuttering

Some of the most common causes that lead to childhood stuttering are:

Psycholinguistic: It is usually a problem derived from a deficit in the rapid association of meaning with its written word and image.
Speech anomalies: Some evidence indicates that anomalies may be involved, such as temporal, sensory and motor coordination.
Genetic: Stuttering tends to be hereditary.
Traumatic: It may be caused by prolonged states of tension.
How to detect it?

Some of the most frequent symptoms of stuttering in children are usually:

Repetition of a sound, syllable or word.
Difficulty to begin a word or phrase.
Prolongation of a word or sound within a word.
Pausing between words or within a word.
Choosing simple words instead of those that are more difficult to speak.
Use of additional sounds such as “uh, um…” in case of difficulty continuing with the next word.
Appearing tense or uncomfortable when speaking.
Anxiety about speaking.

How do we treat stuttering in children at Logopeda Barcelona?

Speech therapist Barcelona, will first make a diagnosis to the child to determine if it corresponds to a case of childhood stuttering. Then, if there is a positive case of stuttering, speech therapy sessions will be conducted where speech will be worked on. More specifically, it will be carried out in the sessions:

Teaching how to speak correctly.
Observation of how to speak.
Helping and teaching them to minimize stuttering when speaking.
Muscle relaxation and vocal control.
Speech fluency.

In any case, the goal is that the child can speak without blocking or repetition of words or sounds.