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Dysphemia, better known colloquially as stuttering, is a communication disorder characterized by interruptions in speech fluency: abnormal repetitions, prolongations or interruptions of sounds, syllables or words. At the same time, signs of facial or body tension or effort related to the effort when speaking may appear.
The origin of this problem is unknown although it is believed that there are a number of genetic, physiological, linguistic or environmental factors that increase the chances of it appearing
Children between 2 and 5 years of age often have verbal cuts (it seems that the word does not come out) and syllable repetitions because they are still learning to speak, to organize words and phrases. This is a problem that tends to remit spontaneously one year after it started.
Four out of five children who show signs of stammering they evolve into normal speech. However, if the problem persists one year after it began, there is a greater risk that it will develop and continue until school or adult age.
The attitude of parents and other people around the child towards his way of speaking are fundamental in the development of his fluency.
- The most important is prevent the child from becoming aware of his problemThat is to say, that you realize that you stutter, since your own attempts to avoid it may lead you to increase it.
- Must speak to the child slowly and giving you time to express yourself. If we speak to them slowly and calmly, we will be giving them a good role model.
- It is important pay more attention to what you say than how you say it, without correcting you when you make a mistake.
- Try to be calm and stay calm when your child is blocked. Always wait for me to finish speaking and do not finish the words or phrases for him.
- Don't force the child to speak in situations where this may be uncomfortable or stressful. Avoid commenting or giving recommendations such as: 'speak slower', 'breathe', 'take a breath', 'don't be nervous', etc. And above all avoid teasing, fighting or punishment related to your speech.
These types of comments and attitudes make the child feel evaluated in his way of speaking, become aware of his difficulties and increase and prolong the problem.
- When the child manages to get out of the block and speaks fluently, avoid making comments such as 'how well you did', 'you're talking much better'. This can make you feel evaluated every time you speak.
- It is essential to create a climate of security and understanding around the child. Show him with your attitude that you enjoy talking to him.
Although fluency problems tend to resolve spontaneously, this is not always the case. There are a number of risk factors that should be seen as soon as possible to a therapist specializing in language disorders (speech therapist or teacher specialist in hearing and language).
It is recommended to see a specialist in the following cases:
- When there is a family history of stuttering.
- When three to six months have passed since the appearance of the blockages.
- When the child has a speech delay or language alteration.
- When there are emotional, psychological or organic alterations.
- When the child is aware that he stutters.
- When parents or teachers begin to be concerned about the child's speech.
- In the event that we observe effort or facial or body tension in the child when speaking, accompanied by blocks
- When the child manifests tension, anxiety or fear in situations in which he has to speak.
- When it is the reason for teasing or joking by other children.
- When it is the child himself who tells us that it is difficult for him to control his speech or that he is concerned about his problem.
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