Stuttering Therapy for Children

Published: 2019-03-14 17:53:21
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Vanderbilt University
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Communication disorder

Stuttering or stammering is a communication disorder, which affects an individual's flow of speech. The disorder can be traced back to the biblical age when individuals such as Moses suffered from the disorder. The disorder affects people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds. However, studies have shown that the prevalence of the disorder differs with community groups. Scientifically, stuttering has only been identified as a genetic and behavioral problem. These findings have enabled experts to list a number of signs and symptoms that individuals with the disorder exhibit (Stuttering Foundation of America, 2017). These experts have also been able to establish means of diagnosing and treating the disorder. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disorder. Hence, those affected are advised to make use of the available measures to ensure the disorder does not affect their daily routine. This paper aims at exploring the subject by providing an argumentative essay regarding stuttering therapy for children.

Many theories have been stated over the years regarding the origin of stuttering and how it can be treated. For example, in ancient Greece, stuttering was thought to have resulted from abnormalities of the tongue. Hence, experts suggested that plastic surgery was the only way to treat the disorder. However, this idea resulted in several body mutilations and added disabilities. Later in the twentieth century, stuttering was attributed to an individual's psychogenic disorder. This commenced an all-new treatment approach that focused on solving neurotic conflicts. These approaches constituted behavioral therapy and psychoanalytics. This period marked the beginning of therapy as a treatment approach. Experts conducted studies to observe child-parent relationships and personality traits. Despite this major breakthrough, the studies did not produce any psychologically related patterns that could be linked to stuttering (BUMchel, and Sommer, 2017).

Many believe that emotional problems cause stuttering among children. However, continued research has shown that this is not the case. In fact, there could be a number of things that cause stuttering among children. Hence, parents need to understand that they should not blame themselves if their child stutters. Furthermore, most children end up overcoming the problem later if it is dealt with earlier on (AMERICAN SPEECH-LANGUAGE-HEARING ASSOCIATION, 2017). Scientific research shows that children begin stuttering in the course of learning complex grammar. Normally, most children have no difficulty saying one or two words consecutively. However, some children find it difficult to produce long sentences. In turn, this inability makes it difficult for such children to coordinate their speech muscles. This, according to scientists is a neurological problem. Fortunately, similar research has shown that this problem easily fades away among many children once they reach puberty. In other words, a child's maturation helps eradicate the problem. To achieve this however, parents still need to seek the help of experts so that they do not make misinformed decisions.

Identifying the disorder among children at an early age

Even for those parents whose children do not stop exhibiting stuttering, experts suggest there is no need to worry. According to recent statistics, at least five percent of children stutter for a period of at least six months. Out of this number, three-quarters recover fully thereby leaving an estimated one percent with the problem. This data should serve to guarantee parents that the problem disappears with time if the necessary actions are taken. Sometimes the problem disappears in a dramatic manner (AMERICAN SPEECH-LANGUAGE-HEARING ASSOCIATION, 2017). For example, it can disappear for days or weeks and then resume suddenly. Either way, it is important for parents to note that emotions are not associated with stuttering.

In earlier times, people would have been less willing to seek the help of experts due to various factors such as cultural beliefs. In many communities, stuttering was treated as lameness. This would result in affected individuals being isolated or banished (Reardon-Reeves, Nina, and Yaruss, 2013). However, such decisions were enacted at a time when people did not have extensive knowledge on matters such as human anatomy and behavior. Currently, research and technological development has provided us with the chance to take control over most phenomena. For example, scientific research has provided health experts with knowledge regarding stuttering as a natural phenomenon. Hence, it is only logical for people to seek the help of experts who specialize in aiding stuttering children. Unfortunately, some people are not utilizing the help of such experts due to different reasons. Nonetheless, where such help is available, it is highly advisable for people to seek it. Otherwise, doing the opposite would not be reasonable.

Today, parents and experts focus on identifying the disorder among children at an early age to increase the chances of recovery. This approach makes it easier for those involved to make a quick decision on whether a child should be taken to therapy or not. Furthermore, this approach is enabled through observation of evident signs and symptoms. They include repetition of words and prolongation of sounds (BUMchel, and Sommer, 2017). Also, individuals who exhibit such symptoms are normally tense and find it hard to breathe when they are talking. In extreme cases, affected persons may exhibit blocked speech, which normally takes a lot of effort to overcome (BergUOUGrsdUGttir, and Ingham, 2017). Where an individual possesses these signs and symptoms, it is logical for the parent or guardian to seek the services of an expert. Using his/her skills, an expert can help decide if a child should be taken to therapy or not.

Contemporary literature,

According to contemporary literature, identifying stuttering in an individual is not easy. As a result, the employment of expert services helps to improve the credibility of the existence a fluency disorder. This is because there are many barriers that could disrupt one's communication. Experts suggest that stuttering does not only affect what listeners hear. Hence, it may not be easy for listeners to detect some of the added characteristics. This is the reason why the skills of an expert are required in diagnosing stuttering. Experts conduct a variety of speech related assessments depending on the individual's history and age. Then they analyze relevant information to establish the existence of a fluency disorder (BUMchel, and Sommer, 2017). The extent to which the established disorder affects an individual's performance is also determined. The services of experts are ethically guided and this guarantees that whatever they propose is within their ethical boundaries.

In any case, utilitarian ethics suggest that one's action can only be deemed as ethical if it results in a maximum good for the majority. In the case of stuttering children, many support the idea of seeking help from experts. This is because the end result will favour the affected child. On the other hand, even the parents, relatives, and friends will be glad that the parents sought the necessary help. Here, all the involved parties achieve happiness because of an ethical decision. However, if the parents had chosen not to seek the needed help whereas other parties supported the idea of seeking help, then their action would not produce happiness for the majority. In such a case, they would be acting unethically. However, in the former case, the parents would be acting ethically.

Although there are several people who support the idea of stuttering therapy for children some believe that stuttering is a part of God's creation. This belief is prevalent among society members who do not support the idea of trying to better God's creation. These individuals view every special aspect in God's creation as essential to every man and woman including stuttering. In other communities, sensitive cultural principles prohibit society members from participating in certain advanced practices. This behavior is prominent in regions, which are poorly developed. The people living in such regions are not aware of the achievements humanity has made. If they are aware, they choose not to affiliate themselves with these advancements because they are content with what nature provides. Hence, even if they raise stuttering children, they do not view it as a thoughtful issue.

There are many reasons why parents should consider stuttering therapy for children. The paper provides a strong argument aimed at highlighting some of these reasons. As stated above, having the will to see one's child overcome the fluency disorder is a major step. However, the need to seek help from the experts is also as important. Hence, parents should learn to appreciate stuttering therapy.

sheldon

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