Year Two – Post 8 | What is stuttering?
Your child may experience nonfluent behavior as often as 10 percent of the time (one out of ten words) while perfecting language skills. You may want to have your child screened by a speech-language pathologist if her dysfluency continues for more than six months, is more frequent than one in ten words or demonstrates any of these characteristics:
- More difficulty finding words to say (“um-um-um…” and stops talking)
- Repeated sounds in words (“b-b-b-b-baby”) that disrupt the communication process
- Prolonging one sound in a word during speech (“ssssssssome more”) frequently
- Hesitations between sounds and words that sound unnatural to you
- Facial grimaces or tension in her face, hands and/or body while communicating
- Fear of speaking and avoids talking
It is important to monitor the above behavior and to remember, we all go through periods of dysfluency depending upon how tired we are, our motor coordination and stress. Studies have proven that people can perceive the difference between normal dysfluency and stuttering. A speech-language pathologist will make the diagnosis of stuttering and therapy can make the situation better…as we learned in the movie The King’s Speech.
– Kathryn Thorson Gruhn, MA CCC-SLP, author of My Baby Compass series