Fluency Disorder in Children
Stammering or stuttering is the inability to speak in a fluent way. It is more common in the boys compared to girls. It usally happens after the age of 5. If it is not treated immediately it grows. So in this article I have written the Do's and Don'ts to be followed when the child is stuttering.
Stammering child faces problems while talking. The slower he/she speaks more likely they are to be fluent. Stammering is most common in the primary ages when the child is learning to speak with many words and sentences. For many kids, this goes off on its own without any professional help whereas some children need the help of a Speech therapist.
Speech therapist will conduct many sessions with you in order to find out about the child and whether it is hereditary, part of this session will be when the child is not present so that it can be discussed openly. Then they will move to the child where he will talk with the child in general, read a book with him and try to find out that in which words the child is facing difficulty. They will do this in playing way so that the child doesn't realize that something very serious has happened to him. He/She will break the sentences into small words and focus on single alphabets. If for example they find that the child's pronunciation is not clear while saying 'D' then they will ask the child to say a few words starting from that letter and practice with him/her.
* Listen closely when your child talks. Pay attention to what your child says rather than the way it is said.
* Keep the child interested in talking by making speech fun and rewarding ( use songs, rhymes, games, involving speech).
* Use a slow rate in your speech and pause frequently. It also gives your child more time to understand what you are saying and formulate thoughts.
* Provide opportunities for your child to talk to you without distractions or competition from other family members.
* Reduce pressure to communicate. For Example, limit the number of question you asked your child since questions demand that your child makes immediate response.
* Give your child enough time to talk.Example, Give your child time to answer the question before asking another one.
* Observe situations that increase or decrease fluent behavior.
* Recognize that certain language factor may have an effect of fluency. Dis-fluency may also be greater when complex language is used or if the topic is unfamiliar and difficult to understand.
* Recognize that certain environmental factor may have a negative effect on fluency like competition to speak, excitement, arguing and fatigue.
* Convey understanding, acceptance and re-assurance if a child expresses concern about his stuttering.
* Make it a habit to read out from a book at least 10 minutes everyday with a slow tone and good inflection.
* Make him recite poems with the proper gestures and narrate short stories at a slow rate.
* Describe pictures as often as you can.
* Finish a sentence or a word for him because you know what he is trying to say.
* Give the impression that you are disappointed because of his stammering.
* Force a child to speak before stranger or visitors.
* Point out to the child that he is stuttering or telling him to "stop stuttering" or ask him to "say it again without stuttering".
* Give suggestions that require the child to do something before he speaks such as "Stop and think about what you want to say before you say it", or "Take a deep breath and try it again". Don't say "Relax" , "Slow down" , "Take your time" , or "Think before you talk".
* Let stuttering become an excuse to avoid responsibilities.
* Suggests that the child should use an easy word for a word he is having trouble in saying.
* Allow anyone to tease a child about his stuttering.
* Make negative comparisons.
* Have heated arguments in the presence of the child.
* Contradict the other parent in the presence of the child particularly regarding child rearing practices.
* Expose him to many languages.
* Correct him often for any of the behavior's you wish to change.
* Ask him questions where the answer is likely to be long and complex.
* Force him to enter a situation he is fearful or reluctant to.
* Insist on confessing a wrong he has done.
Stammering and fast pace of life don't always go well together. With all children enough sleep and healthy diet are important for mental and physical development.
Remember your goal is to increase his experiences of fluency and decrease his experiences of dis-fluency. All the above tips will facilitate this goal.