Many children between the age of 3-8 years, stammer while speaking. It is completely normal until that age but is a cause for concern if continued after the age of 10 years. Stammering is an inability to push a syllable or letter when an individual speaks following an involuntary pause where the person is not able to produce sound. In simple words, the person is unable to maintain a smooth forward flow of speech in his/her day to day speech. This problem has treatment with the approach to Stammering Therapy or speech therapy which is different for adults, children, and pre-schoolers.
Symptoms of Stammering
It is generally observed that this difficulty is accompanied by many symptoms, which are
- Shaking of the jaw
- Face becoming red
- Tension in the voice and face
- Repetition of words or phrases
- Rapid blinking of eyes while speaking
Stammering (also referred as stuttering) in children and adults is different if we study them in depth, but other factors such as the inability to control muscles of the mouth, are mainly responsible for stammering in both children as well as adults. In some cases stress, lack of confidence, and anxiety also make you stammer which can be cured easily if the individual exercises regularly to strengthen his tongue, lips, jaw, and lungs.
Other things that happen because of stuttering:
● It consumes a lot of energy (both physical as well as mental). Hence, a person finds it difficult to breathe and may even end up tensing up his/her neck, mouth, or hand muscles.
● It is frustrating and embarrassing, and an individual often finds himself getting nervous before speaking.
● Peer pressure or constant bullying from strangers leads to a person trying to get rid of stuttering as quickly as possible, this sometimes worsens the situation. The person has to be patient while dealing with this problem.
Causes Of Stammering
There is no definite cause of stuttering, in fact, there are several factors that cause it. Some of them are:
Hereditary Reasons: Professionals dealing with such cases have observed that in most cases the patient has a close relative who also stammers. Therefore, genes are one of the causes.
Stammering while growing up: During the early stage (at around 2 years of age) of speaking, most children develop the habit of stuttering. If not corrected at that very time, it carries on for more years and creates an issue.
Neurological factors: Researchers say that people who stutter, process language differently than those who don’t have any speech disorder. It is reported that the problem lies in the way language is transmitted through the brain. There is no exact reason as to why this happens.
Psychogenic Factor: Stress is also somehow responsible for the person to stutter. If someone has undergone a severe emotional trauma, then there may be chances of them to stammer.
Neurogenic Factor: Sometimes, stammering may be a result of some brain injuries due to a Stroke.
Steps to Overcome Stammering
● Talk in front of a mirror: One of the best cures of stammering is pronouncing all the alphabets loudly and clearly while standing in front of a mirror. Be confident and twist your face strongly, every time you utter the vowels. Repeat this every day at least for 20-30 minutes.
● Analyze your breathing pattern: Take some deep breaths before you start speaking in order to stop stammering, it will pacify you and release nervousness. One can observe that people who stammer often forget to breathe once they begin talking. Don’t do that. Instead, pause and give yourself some time to breathe, and try to tackle the word or phrase again.
● Consult a speech therapist: Consulting a therapist is a guaranteed help and an effective way to overcome any kind of speech disorder. Therapists will determine each and every cause and effect of stammering and prescribe medicines or suggest exercises based on that.
● Read books aloud: Ensure that you get down to the habit of reading loud and fast. Take anything like a newspaper, magazine or a textbook and practice it on a daily basis. This method helps to identify the specific words that are causing you to stutter and lets you concentrate on those in the future. Repeat this for 2-3 months regularly and you will definitely see a positive change in your speech.
● Try speaking in rhythm: Singing is the most effective way to cure stammering. If not proper singing, people suffering from speech disorder must develop the habit of speaking in rhythm. This gives a flow to their sentences and they are able to speak without any pause or break in between. Practice it for 2-3 months, it makes the cure an enjoyable ride.
● Positive Visualization: A positive visualization can be a great help for those who stutter. Visualizing something that gives you happiness will help you to be relaxed and thus reduce stammering. This technique is also followed by many renowned speakers.
● Pace Yourself: This technique can really be helpful, especially for those who want to be stage performers but still dealing with stuttering. Try to get a pace for your body by a steady walk and recite whatever you want while walking. You will notice that you didn’t stutter or mumble and even if you did, it will reduce.
Remember, stammering is not a disease and can be cured easily if done at the right age and time. It is also a serious condition in some cases as it causes shortening of breath due to:
● Physical weakness because of a disease
● Any kind of fear
● Imitating other people who stutter
● Accident or any other mishappening
Instead of bullying or judging people having this problem, give them a hand. Help them out with the piece of information we stated above.