A stutter is an interruption in the flow of speech, often as a repetition, a blockage or a prolongation. These stuttering moments are often accompanied by signs of tension in the face, negative reactions and sometimes avoidant behaviours.
Speech fluency refers to the flow, the speed and the ease at which words come out of an individual’s mouth. Stuttering is the most common fluency disorder. For children, it is recommended that a speech-language pathology be consulted if a stutter is present for more than 6 months. The majority of children who stutter are under the age of 5 years and for most, they start stuttering around 2 ½ years of age.
How to know if it is a stutter?
Everyone has occasional bumps in their speech, be it hesitations, pauses, interjections (ex : um), word repetitions or parts of sentence repetitions.
However, there is a difference between those occasional types of bumps and a stutter. When a child’s speech has either a large number of bumps (disfluencies) or as certain types of disfluencies,stuttering can be present:
- Repetitions of parts of words
- Repetitions of a word’s syllable (d-d-dog…)
- Audible extensions (the mmmountain)
- Blockages (with tension): (I… want milk)
Often a stutter can have an impact on the communication of a child on a daily basis. These children feel anxiety, frustration, fear and sometimes anger in situations where their stutter is an obstacle to good communication. It is recommended that the child see a speech-language pathologist to be evaluated and to put in place a treatment plan towards easier, more fluid speech.
Treatment options for children who stutter
How does treatment for stuttering work?
There are several different approaches to the treatment of stuttering. For preschool age stuttering, one of the most recognized and respected treatment programs is the Lidcombe program.
The speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque are trained in the Lidcombe program – a program that can be given in English or in French. This intervention can also be offered through telepractice (at a distance).
For older children, the speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque are well trained in other approaches for finding smooth speech. A dynamic approach is taken for each individual to ensure a personalized intervention that responds to the individual needs of each child is provided.
A little known fluency disorder – Stammering:
What is cluttering?
Cluttering is characterized by rapid speech and a reduction in the clarity of speech articulation. Often the last syllable of a word is eliminated, giving the impression that the words are all glued together. A person who stammers is often asked to repeat themselves or to slow down. If you suspect your child stammers, contact the speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque de Québec. We can help target the troubling elements in speech and provide strategies for finding more fluid speech.
Fluency disorders affect a large number of children. The majority of the children affected by fluency difficulties are preschool age, but it is common that school-age children and adolescents continue to struggle with bumpy speech. Whether it is for a young child, a school-age child or a teen, contact us today to better understand how the speech-language pathologists at the Centre Mosaïque de Québec can help.
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The Centre Mosaïque is committed to providing prompt care to meet your needs. Feel free to contact us to find out how our speech therapists can help you.