Many young kids go through a stage between the ages of 2 and 5 when they stutter, repeating certain syllables, words or phrases, prolonging them, or stopping, making no sound for certain sounds and syllables. Stuttering is a form of — an interruption in the flow of speech.
In many cases, stuttering goes away on its own by age 5; in others, it lasts longer.
There's no cure for stuttering, but effective treatments are available and you can help your child overcome it.
What Causes Stuttering?
Experts think that a variety of factors contribute to stuttering, including:
· Genetics: About 60% of those who stutter have a close family member who stutters.
· Other speech and language problems or developmental delays.
· Differences in the brain's processing of language: People who stutter process language in different areas of the brain. And there's a problem with the way the brain's messages interact with the muscles and body parts needed for speaking.
Early Signs of Stuttering
The first signs of stuttering tend to appear when a child is about 18-24 months old as there is a burst in vocabulary and kids are starting to put words together to form sentences. To parents, the stuttering may be upsetting and frustrating, but it is natural for kids to do some stuttering at this stage. It's important to be as patient with your child as possible.
A child may stutter for a few weeks or several months, and the stuttering may be sporadic. Most kids who begin stuttering before the age of 5 stop without any need for interventions such as speech or language therapy.
However, if your child's stuttering is frequent, continues to get worse, and is accompanied by body or facial movements, an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist around (instead of before) age 3 is a good idea.