Dysfluency also known as stuttering is a speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech. These speech disruptions may be accompanied by struggling behaviors, such as rapid eye blinks or tremors of the lips. Stuttering may make it difficult to communicate with other people, which often affects a person’s quality of life.
What causes dysfluency?
Although the precise mechanisms are not understood, there are two types of stuttering that are more common: Developmental Stuttering and Neurogenic Stuttering
Developmental stuttering occurs in young children while they are still learning speech and language skills. It is the most common form of stuttering. Some scientists and clinicians believe that developmental stuttering occurs when children’s speech and language abilities are unable to meet the child’s verbal demands. Developmental stuttering also run in families.
How is dysfluency treated?
Although there is currently no cure for stuttering, there are a variety of treatments available. The nature of the treatment will differ, based upon a person’s age, communication goals, and other factors. If you stutter, it is important to work with a speech-language pathologist to determine the best treatment options.
For very young children, early treatment may prevent developmental stuttering from becoming a lifelong problem. Certain strategies may help children learn to improve their speech fluency while developing positive attitudes toward communication. Treatment often involves teaching parents about ways to support their child’s production of fluent speech. Parents may be encouraged to:
Provide a relaxed home environment that allows many opportunities for the child to speak. This includes setting aside time to talk to one another, especially when the child is excited and has a lot to say.
Refrain from reacting negatively when the child stutters. Instead, parents should react to the stuttering as they would any other difficulty the child may experience in life. This may involve gentle corrections of the child’s stuttering and praise for the child’s fluent speech.
Be less demanding on the child relative to speaking in certain ways and/or performing verbally for people, particularly if the child experiences increased difficulty with speaking during periods of high pressure.
Speak in a slightly slowed and relaxed manner. This may help reduce time pressures the child may be experiencing.
Listen attentively when the child speaks and wait for him or her to say the intended word. Don’t try to complete