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STUTTERING

Speech Therapy for Children

Stuttering (sometimes referred to as disfluency) is a communication difficulty that affects the fluency and flow of speech. It is common for many children of all ages to experience disfluencies. This does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. However, frequent disfluencies can result in difficulties with communication and can be frustrating and upsetting for the person communicating as well as for the family. A speech-language pathologist (S-LP) can determine if your child’s disfluencies warrant therapy.

 

Your child may be stuttering if they produce frequent:

  • whole word repetitions (e.g., My, my, my doll)
  • part-word repetitions (e.g., far- far- far- farmer)
  • initial sound repetitions (e.g., t-, t-, t-, table)
  • Prolongations (i.e, stretching sounds) (e.g., mmmmmmmy doll)
  • Blocks (i.e., stuck on a word with no sound coming out)

The causes of stuttering are complex and varied. Early referral to a S-LP is advocated as early intervention is frequently associated with more successful outcomes. Following a detailed evaluation of fluency and a determination of speech and language features, the S-LP will recommend therapy depending on age, level of severity and environmental factors (e.g. school environment). At the Speech Therapy Centres of Canada (STCC) we use a holistic approach to treatment, by looking at the child in the context of family, friends and school environment.

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