We have all experienced a moment when what you are trying to say just won’t come out. Those episodes of stuttering are typically a blip in time occurring far and few between. Stuttering is a natural part of development for children between the ages of 2 and 5. When a young child stutters, she/he may repeat certain syllables, words or phrases, prolong them, or making no sound for certain sounds and syllables. These ‘episodes’ can be attributed to the child having so much to say, but can’t get the information out quickly and don’t want to lose her/his audience or turn to talk. Developmental stuttering my last for a few weeks or several months, and it may be sporadic. Most children stop stuttering by age 5 without speech-language therapy intervention. However, if these episodes are accompanied with facial or body movements, become worse and more frequent, a speech-language evaluation is suggested for children as young as 3 years of age.
While there is no cure for stuttering, there are effective treatments that can help an individual control his/her speech. As fluency therapy is a complex marriage of clinical and psychological intervention, It is recommended these treatments and therapies be administered by a speech-language pathologist who has experience or specializes in the area of fluency therapy. As a child matures, intervention/therapy techniques adjust from learning the techniques for fluent or smooth speech to learning how to best manage dysfluencies given specific situations in the home, peer, work and academic settings.
Middle and high school years are filled with uncertainty and the constant feeling of trying to ‘fit in’. Anything that makes you ‘different’ isn’t necessarily considered a ‘positive’. For teens who have a fluency disorder or stutter, these years can be a time of significant social struggle and self-doubt. We take for granted the number of times in any one given day we are required to answer, comment, question or defend ourselves with clarity and ease.
Lakeshore Speech Therapy is fortunate to have Wendi Willmer as part of our staff. As a Board Certified Specialist in Fluency, Wendi possesses in-depth knowledge on how to treat stuttering in people of all ages. Sensitive to the struggles teens and young adults experience with stuttering, she is offering two six-week small group sessions to help students.. One group is specifically designed for the needs of students in grades 6th thru 8th and another for students in grades 9th thru 12th. While working in a group setting, not only will the students learn new techniques to control stuttering, but practice those skills they do have; all the while creating a network of friends that truly understand what they are going through. Class sizes are limited and registration is open until Wednesday, September 12, 2018. Find more information at https://www.lakeshorespeech.com/events/.
Yours in Speech,
Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC