Selective mutism is a complex childhood anxiety disorder characterized by a child’s lack of verbal communication in select social environments, such as school. Children with selective mutism possess the ability to speak, but are selective of the settings in which they choose to speak. They will often speak in environments where they feel safe, relaxed, and calm with familiar people such as parents or siblings, but will choose not to speak in environments where they are less comfortable. A common misconception is that selective mutism is a form of autism. Children with selective mutism may demonstrate lack of appropriate social language use that mimics those on the autism spectrum, but selective mutism is not indicative of autism.
Parents often wonder what they can do to help their child improve their speech and language skills. Many families seek additional private speech therapy to supplement school-based treatment.
While added speech therapy may be an advantage, it depends on the unique needs of your child. School-based speech therapy and private speech therapy differ in many ways. Before determining if your child would benefit from additional speech and language therapy, it is essential to know the difference between the two.
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Tags: Speech, Hearing Aid, Audiology, Language, Hearing Aids, Communication, Hearing, reading, literacy, Hearing Loss Prevention, Teens, Support, Caregiving, Hearing Loss, Stuttering, Learning, Voice, toddler, talking, Autism
Evidence exists linking genetic factors to a variety of speech and language difficulties. Recent studies of molecular genetics and neuroimaging are cross-disciplinary, combining forces between speech-language pathologists, physicians, and scientists. Researchers have already identified over 400 genes linked to hearing loss, and ongoing studies investigate genetic links to stuttering, voice disorders, and language disorders.
Learning and practicing how to correctly produce their “r” or “s” sound is certainly NOT what 8-12-year-olds want to be doing! Most would prefer to be playing video games or riding their bike. One way to make speech therapy and at-home practice a little easier is to use an app. These apps could be on the parent’s phone, the tween’s phone, or a family iPad.
Myth: People who stutter are not smart.
Reality: There is no link whatsoever between stuttering and intelligence.
Myth: Nervousness causes stuttering.
Reality: Nervousness does not cause stuttering. Nor should we assume that people who stutter are prone to be nervous, fearful, anxious or shy. They have the same full range of personality traits as those who do not stutter.
Myth: Stuttering can be "caught" through imitation or by hearing another person stutter.
Reality: You can't "catch" stuttering. No one knows the exact causes of stuttering, but recent research indicates that family history (genetics), neuromuscular development and the child's environment, including family dynamics, all play a role in the onset of stuttering.
Myth: It helps to tell a person to "take a deep breath before talking," or "think about what you want to say first."
Reality: This advice only makes a person more self-conscious, making the stuttering worse. More helpful responses include listening patiently and modeling slow and clear speech yourself.
Myth: Stress causes stuttering.
Reality: As mentioned above, many complex factors are involved. Stress is not the cause, but it certainly can aggravate stuttering.
Famous people who stutter
James Earl Jones, John Stossel, Bill Walton, Mel Tillis, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Carly Simon, Annie Glenn, Nicholas Brendon, Ken Venturi, Bob Love, John Updike, King George VI all stuttered and went on to have successful lives.
Stuttering can become a lifelong part of talking for some people. However, it does not have to interfere with your child's ability to make friends, participate in the classroom, make good grades, form lasting relationships or achieve career goals.
Deciding whether to take your child to speech therapy can be a difficult decision, however, many parents are concerned that taking a child to therapy will increase his or her awareness of the stuttering and thus have a negative effect or are unsure about the best time to start their child in therapy, especially when they get conflicting advice about whether to "wait and see" versus take action. Adding to the confusion, research suggests that as many as 70 percent of all children who start stuttering will outgrow it on their own with no speech therapy. But research also indicates that if a child has been stuttering longer than a year, the likelihood that he or she will outgrow it without any speech therapy is reduced.
Unfortunately, there are no firm guidelines about the best time to start therapy, although most speech-language pathologists will recommend starting therapy within six to 12 months after you have first noticed the stuttering. One thing we do know, though, is that all children can benefit from therapy, although the outcomes are different for different children.
As a result of speech therapy, some children are able to eliminate stuttering completely. Others learn strategies that help them stutter less, while yet other children learn to talk in a way that is easier and less tense, even though some stuttering is still noticeable. Most importantly, all children can learn to become more confident in their speaking skills, no matter how much stuttering they may still have.
Goals of stuttering therapy:
A communication disorder is an impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems. A communication disorder may be evident in the processes of hearing, language, and/or speech. A communication disorder may range in severity from mild to profound.
Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak.