Stammering in kids

Stammering in Kids: What Parents Should Know

Stammering or stuttering is disruption of normal speech which can be seen in children. Stammering makes it difficult for a child to communicate easily. When a child stutters, you can observe prolongs of syllables, word or sounds.

If your child is stammering and it worries you, then you are not alone. Millions of children stutter and if the problem is addressed it will go away. World famous personalities Charles Darwin, Isaack Newton, Bruce Willis, Hrithik Roshan, Marilyn Monroe to name a few, were all stutters. All of them overcome the problem with proper treatment.

Do you know:

  • Stammering affects more male kids than females
  • One in 12 young children go through a phase of stammering.
  • There are no CLEAR cut reasons to explain what causes stammering.
  • Researchers only learned about factors that contribute for the development of stammering
  • Stammering prevention is possible in young children
  • Some children may stutter for about six months or more
  • People who stutter are as intelligent and well adjusted
  • Stammering becomes a formidable problem once the child reaches teenage. It causes problem especially with social interaction.
  • They will know what they want to say, there will not be a problem in understanding.
  • They will never stutter when they must sing or whispering
  • Problem with speech could be due to hereditary.
  • Stress in child can make it hard to speak the words.

When someone stammering

  • They will repeat parts of the words like Wi-wi-wi-window
  • In the beginning of sentence – they could get stuck on the sound of the first word like ssssnow
  • There will be muscle tension in jaw, neck, lips and cheek.
  • Sometimes they might blink or will struggle to get out the word
  • Nervous and out of breath while talking
  • Child will use interjections such as “like” or “um”
  • Might afraid to talk or communicate

Stammering types:

  1. Neurogenic: A stroke or brain injury can cause neurogenic stammering. Improper signaling between brain, nerves and muscles involved in speech could result in this
  2. Developmental: Most common in children in age group two to five. It might happen when child’s speech and language development last behind.
  3. Psychogenic: It is not that common. It may happen if child undergoes emotional trauma or when child has problem with thinking and reasoning for an action

How parents and teachers can help a child who stutters:

  1. Provide a relaxed environment
  2. Set chunk of time to talk to child
  3. Encourage child to talk on easy and fun topics
  4. Do not discourage, interrupt, mock or send negative thoughts to child
  5. Encourage and praise child for correct speech
  6. Speak slowly and pay attention to child
  7. Patience is key – let child say the words or sentences completely
  8. If child wants to talk about stammering – encourage the subject
  9. Make other children (siblings and friends) understand what stammering is and how they should behave with child who has stammering problem.
  10. Parents must talk to teachers about school environment and vice versa
  11. Talk to healthcare provider and seek advice from speech therapist

Treatments:Treatment for stammering depends on child’s symptoms, general health and age. Early treatment prevents stammering. Speech therapist may teach child to slow down speech and learn to take breath while speaking. Parents must give attention and be part of the therapy session.

Help your child to overcome stammering problem. If not, it could impact on social life, school performance, child may end up with low self -esteem and may withdraw from activities.


Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: July 1, 2022

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