Speech therapy for stuttering children is a specialized form of speech therapy that aims to help children with stuttering overcome their speech impediments. A speech therapist will typically perform an evaluation to first determine the severity of a child’s stuttering, and then develop an individualized treatment plan.
The treatment plan will likely include exercises designed to improve fluency and reduce struggle behaviors, as well as counseling to help the child gain confidence in his or her speaking skills.
The goal of speech therapy is to help the child speak fluently and confidently; however, there is no way to “cure” stuttering because it is not caused by any underlying medical condition. Therefore, if a child continues stuttering after speech therapy ends, this does not mean that the therapy has failed.
In fact, most children who receive speech therapy will continue to stutter occasionally as they mature into adults. However, they are likely to have more confidence in their speaking skills and may be able to control their speech more effectively than they could without training from a qualified speech therapist.
Speech therapy for stuttering children involves a lot of different strategies, but they are all aimed at helping the child develop smoother speech patterns.
One common method is to encourage the child to slow down while talking. The therapist will also lead the child through a variety of exercises that are designed to help with their speech and make it easier for them to communicate.
Other methods include using more complex words, practicing breathing techniques, and learning how to pause between words so that they don’t run together when they speak.
Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by involuntary repetitions and prolongations of sounds, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds.
Children who stutter may repeat whole words (e.g., “I-I-I want a cookie”) or parts of words (e.g., “ca-ca-ca-cookie”). They may also prolong sounds (e.g., “sssssscookie”). In addition to repeating and prolonging sounds, children who stutter may demonstrate physical tension in their faces, jaw, lips, or other body parts when trying to speak.
In some cases, children who stutter also experience secondary behaviors that are often associated with struggling to say certain words or phrases, such as eye blinks or tightened facial muscles. They may also demonstrate frustration at being unable to speak fluently and avoid talking by either refusing to answer questions or asking questions themselves instead of answering them.