As many of you know, my family and I are expecting baby number three in just a few short weeks. As I take some time off from work and blogging to spend time with my family both before and after my new son’s birth, I am thrilled to share with you some amazing posts written by some very talented bloggers. So please sit back, relax and enjoy this guest post and leave a comment letting us know what you think! Today we have Lauren from Busy Bee SpeechÂ sharing some great information with you on childhood stuttering. Enjoy!Â
I am so beyond excited to be able to chat with you today! Â Thanks so much to Katie for including me in her fabulous series of guest posts. Â My name is Lauren and I blog over at Busy Bee Speech. Â Today, we are going to peek a little into the world of stuttering.
Fluency (or stuttering) has become something that I’ve kinda had to get a handle on quickly. Â Back in grad school, my professor dubbed me the “fluency queen” because I ended up with so many fluency hours in both diagnostic and treatment. Â Now working in the schools, I somehow end up with all of the stuttering cases. Â I’m beginning to think I’m some sort of magnet for them. Â Haha.
Many kids do go through a typical stuttering stage as preschoolers between ages 2 and 5. Â This happens when they suddenly get that “boost” of language and are quickly learning lots of new vocabulary and language structures. Â For most kids (about 75% according to ASHA) the stuttering will come and go then gradually disappear. Â However, a small percentage never seem to come out of that stage. Â They grow up and continue to stutter, or it may even begin to develop later. Â No matter how their disfluency develops, those who deal severely with stuttering usually have to learn to compensate for it through therapy.
I’m hoping to share with you a few warning signs that your child might be at risk for a fluency disorder and give you a few tips to help along the way.
Check out these signs that could indicate a need for a speech-language evaluation.
- Your child stutters frequentlyÂ – There could be cause for concern if your child is stuttering more than 10% of the time. Â These behaviors include: repeating sounds, syllables, and words, prolonging sounds in words, or tense vocal “blocks” (when they try to produce a word but it seems to get stuck in the throat).
- You have a family member that stuttersÂ – Research shows that those who have relatives that stutter are at a greater risk for stuttering than those who do not. Â Though the exact cause is still unclear, about 60% of those who stutter chronically were found to have a family member who also stutters.
- Your child has been stuttering longer than 12 monthsÂ – Phases of typical stuttering usually last no longer than 6-12 months. Â A person is more likely to stutter chronically if it has lasted longer than a year.
- Your child has visible tension in their face and neckÂ – Sometimes you can see the struggle and difficulty those who stutter have with getting out words. Â You might see their eyes squint, lips quiver, or muscles tighten. Â If the stuttering instances are easy and loose with no tension, they are more likely to be exhibiting normal disfluency.
- Your child has difficulty with breath control – Those who stutter at times appear as if they were “out of breath” when talking. Â They might be trying to talk as quickly as possible and say their message all in one breath. Â Or the very act of speaking may be causing such exertion that they feel out of breath.
- Your child began to stutter after the age of 3 1/2Â -Â Â Kids who develop disfluent behaviors later may be more likely to stutter chronically.
- Your child displays fear and avoidance of speaking – Sometimes kids have a difficulty time dealing with their difficulty speaking. Â They may realize that a certain sound or word is hard to say and avoid it altogether.
- Another risk factor – being maleÂ – Research has shown that boys are 3-4 times more likely to stutter than girls.Â Â