When should you visit a doctor?
This new year, now more than ever, it is important to take any suspected health issues seriously. You shouldn’t wait if you suspect that your child has a stuttering problem. Depending on the toddler’s condition, a pediatrician may refer you to a pediatric speech-language pathologist. An analysis by the pathologist can help diagnose the toddler’s stuttering problem.
How Is Stuttering In Toddlers Diagnosed?
- Review the condition: The pathologist will check for how long the condition has persisted, whether someone else in the family has the stutters and if the child has any other speech disorders. The doctor will also consider any brain injuries that the toddler has had in the past.
- Observation of symptoms: Simple speech exercises would help the pathologist observe the signs of stuttering and its intensity.
- Overall speech development of the toddler: A toddler with normal disfluency can comfortably reach other speech and language milestones of their life. However, those with stuttering may not.
How is Stuttering in Toddlers Treated?
A. Speech modification: A pathologist trains the toddler to make subtle changes in the language to minimize the chances of stuttering. These include the use of words and phrases that a toddler can say better. A modified communication style is suggested to the parents to best suit a stuttering toddler. Young toddlers can benefit from speech intervention and may be cured sooner.
B. Long-term therapy: This involves teaching the toddler to deal with triggers, using short sentences, and methods to avoid a prolonged pause in speech. Therapy sessions are often conducted in groups and work at instilling confidence in the toddlers.
How can parents help?
Never underestimate the influence you have over the development of your child. Hence, here are a few ways to help a child with speech problems:
- Speak to the toddler calmly
- Rely on facial expressions and body language
- Be patient
- Do not let the toddler feel conscious about stuttering
- Shower them with words of encouragement and affection when they stumble in their speech.
Stuttering cannot always be prevented but it can be managed and outgrown if detected and treated in time.