Have you ever noticed that your child sometimes gets stuck on certain sounds or words? If so, this can be a sign of stuttering or "disfluency".
Stuttering is a fluency disorder in which speech is disrupted and often characterized by repetition, blocking (unable to vocalize a sound), and prolongations (saying sound for a long time such as “I have an aaaaapple”). These characteristics of stuttering can take place at the individual sound level, syllable level, word level, and phrase level.
Children learn new words everyday, their repertoire is often expansive! As children continue to develop language, sometimes their language abilities aren’t developed enough to keep up with everything they want to say. In young children, stuttering can be common. In these situations, children sometimes “outgrow” their disfluencies as their motor and language ability coincide for verbal output.
Sometimes, however, stuttering can persist later in life impacting children into their adulthood. Children may have challenges with developing social relationships and can formulate negative feelings such as embarrassment and frustration. These feelings can make people feel more tense and possibly create avoidance with talking.
Here are some possible signs that your child may benefit from a comprehensive evaluation from a speech language pathologist to determine if they would benefit from stuttering therapy.
Early intervention with stuttering can not only decrease negative feelings surrounding their speech, but can also increase their fluency of speech.