Am I to Blame?
It's a common misconception that stuttering is caused by psychological problems, causing parents to feel responsible for their child's speech problem. However, research points to a neurological origin. A speech disorder, stuttering results from an over tensing and miscoordination of speech muscles. Based on this information parents can no more control a predisposition to stuttering than they can the color of their child's eyes. Studies show that boys are more likely to stutter than girls in a four to one ratio and as many as 25 percent of children stutter during the speech development process. Once a child passes the early developmental stages of stuttering it is more likely that the disorder will manifest itself throughout the child's life.
So what should a parent do if their child shows signs of early stuttering? Although it may seem obvious, the first and most important thing to do is to love your child unconditionally. Listen to what he is saying, not how he is speaking. Appreciate your child and the message that he is communicating to you. Then, know that if you are concerned, it is the right time to seek professional advice.
The Warning Signs
Despite the fact that many children do outgrow their stuttering, some do not and it is not worth the risk of waiting for their speech to correct itself.
Some of the warning signs that stuttering may become a serious problem:
- Tension during speech with facial and/or bodily
- A struggle to get the words out