Causes and treatment of stuttering in children – medical lexicon & guide

Numerous jokes and the unfortunately often imitated symptoms of stuttering show again and again that many people consider this suffering to be a strange matter. Others think that admonitions, instructions, self-control and firm will can remedy the language disorders. However, both opinions indicate ignorance that stuttering is an illness – a speech disorder.

symptoms & Causes of stuttering

In normal speaking, breathing, larynx function and articulation movements, for example of the lips and tongue, have to be coordinated. This happens unconsciously and is therefore not rated as a special achievement. If this coordination is disturbed, a striking, characteristic speech disorder arises, stuttering. Since it is a very common condition – about one percent of the total population is affected – the symptoms are known to everyone.

The flowing language is interrupted by spasmodic movements of the breathing, larynx and speaking muscles. We differentiate between two types of cramps. The clonic cramps lead to the rapid repetition of some sounds, especially the explosive sounds (k, p and t). With tonic cramps, the sounds can only be pronounced after long pressing. Consonants are more difficult than vowels. Stuttering occurs primarily in free speech, when answering and in difficult situations, less when speaking and speaking, counting, whispering and singing.

Inferiority complexes and even suicidal thoughts occur. The result is an extremely agonizing suffering, a functional disorder called neurosis due to an abnormal reaction of the nervous system to the environment, a real, highly stressful illness that requires the corresponding understanding and helpfulness of the environment.

Stuttering is often seen in children, where similar cases have occurred in families. This does not mean that stuttering is hereditary. Damage that the child experiences during, before and shortly after birth, nutritional disorders, infectious diseases that cause a general reduction in physical and mental resistance, experiences of fright, accidents, educational errors, conflicts at home, imitation and other things can then trigger the stuttering.

There is a particular risk in some stages of life. Children aged three to four usually want to speak more than they can. The vocabulary is increased conditions has not grown yet, and her speaking tools are not yet trained to speak quickly. So it can be "Get stuck" and "skip" come.

This repetition of syllables often occurs at a certain stage of language development and is not yet to be regarded as pathological. It is a pathological reflex that can be overcome. This so-called development stutter is allowed the child don’t come to consciousness. This stuttering should as far as possible be ignored by the educators.

Under no circumstances should a child be encouraged to repeat what has been said incorrectly. The symptoms usually go away on their own after a short time. The next cliff is the start of school. Changes in the environment and new tasks can trigger the language disorder again. The last crisis is the time of puberty with its physical and mental changes. The stuttering usually begins in childhood and adolescence.

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treatment & therapy

There have been numerous mistakes in the treatment of stuttering. In 1841 it was recommended to cut out a wedge-shaped piece from the back of the tongue. This procedure was very painful because the anesthetic was not yet known. In some cases, it was even fatal. Today, it is difficult for us to imagine success because stuttering is not an organic condition, for example as a result of an abnormal tongue.

Nevertheless, parents repeatedly come to the clinic with the erroneous view that cutting the tongue strap can help. Hypnosis and electrotherapy also do not help against stuttering. For the treatment, it is advisable to present the child to a speech, nerve or pediatrician or a speech therapist. One is always amazed to see adult stutterers during the consultation, who have been around since childhood with the Torture suffering without ever seeking medical attention. When it comes to treatment, it is important to recognize and take into account the roots of suffering that lie in the sphere of experience. In older patients, language exercises aim to relax and build a new type of speech, which is often a lengthy and unfortunately not always successful measure.

Soothing medications have a supporting effect. Children should be provided with adequate sleep, easily digestible vitamin-rich food, a calm, homely atmosphere, consistent but not strict, upbringing and an even daily routine. Sports with a rhythmic course, such as jogging and slow swimming, have a beneficial effect. It is also extremely harmful to criticize or even punish children for their language problems. Dealing with them requires calm and patience on the part of family members and educators. Special care must be taken at school, especially for oral exams, which in some cases should be avoided altogether.


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Christina Cherry
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