There are many different types of stutters. Children may experience one type of stutter or a variety of different types of stutters. Stuttering can be very different from one child to another. The types and characteristics of the stutter, and the occurrence of the stutter can vary significantly between children. A stutter for a child can be quite variable from one to another, as well as being variable within a person. Stuttering characteristics may change over time or remain the same; but stuttering can be assessed and treated through speech therapy.
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There is no link between intelligence and stuttering. A child who stutters is no less intelligent then a child who doesn’t.
Stuttering is most likely caused by a difficulty with neural processing (brain activity). A child who is predisposed to stuttering, may stutter more when they are placed in a situation that causes stress or anxiety.
As a parent it is always easy to feel guilt for a child’s difficulty. However, parenting skills do not impact on a child’s stutter. If you have concerns for your child’s speech and feel they may be stuttering, then it is recommended that you see a Speech Pathologist. Every child is different, and every child needs to be seen individually by a Speech Pathologist to assess their skills.
There are a number of therapy approaches that have been proven to have significant positive results in treating stuttering. In Australia, most Speech Pathologists would use the The Lidcombe Program. This program has been scientifically proven to get positive results with children that are up to 6 years of age.
Sometimes, but not always. Unfortunately it is difficult to predict who will grow out of stuttering and who won’t. An assessment by a Speech Pathologist will look at a number of factors that are relevant to you and your child. Recommendations about whether to start therapy will be made based on these factors.
These features can occur at the beginning, middle or end of words or sentences, but generally occur at the beginning.
This is extending/lengthening or stretching a consonant or vowel sound in a word (e.g. “I waaaaaa—–nt to go outside to play”). This may occur anywhere in the word.
This is where your child is unable to produce a sound at all. There is stoppage of airflow. It appears like there is a short period of silence or silent struggling. Your child may still try to speak but struggles to get the word out. Generally blocking occurs at the beginning of a word or sentence.
Children may develop one or more types of stutters. Stuttering can be very different for each child. Research indicates that approximately 5% of children under the age of 5 stutter.