Online stuttering/stammering therapy for kids & adults
In-person stuttering therapy near Skokie, Evanston, West Rogers Park, Wilmette & Niles
What is the difference between stuttering & stammering?
"Stuttering" is more commonly used in American English, while "stammering" is more commonly used in British English. However, both terms refer to a speech disorder characterized by involuntary repetitions, prolongations, or blocks of sounds or words.
What is stuttering (or stammering)?
Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder that affects individuals of all ages. While those who stutter may know what they want to say, they experience difficulty in expressing themselves verbally. At its core, stuttering is a motoric issue that can develop into a communication disorder, leading to avoidance of certain situations such as ordering food at a restaurant or giving presentations at work. The pattern and severity of stuttering can vary from person to person and may even fluctuate from day to day. It is important to note that these fluctuations are a normal part of stuttering.
Signs/symptoms of stuttering
repetition of sounds, syllables, or words in a sentence (also called repetitions)
having a hard time getting a sound out (also called block)
drawing a sound out (also called prolongation)
avoiding certain words or situations that they find challenging to articulate
Physical movements such as eye blinking, head turning, pen tapping
These signs and symptoms can significantly impact an individual's ability to communicate effectively, and may require professional intervention to manage.
Is it common for young children to stutter?
It is common for children between the ages of 2 and 6 to go through periods of disfluency, but if certain risk factors are present, it increases the likelihood for stuttering to continue. These risk factors include:
Gender: stuttering is more likely to persist in boys than girls
Age: stuttering is more likely to continue in children who began stuttering at age 3.5 years or older
Family history: a family history of stuttering increase the likelihood the child will stutter
When to seek stuttering/fluency therapy for a child?
has been stuttering for 6 to 12 months or longer
began stuttering at age 3.5 or older
stutters more frequently than previously
has a family history of stuttering
shows tension or struggle when speaking
avoids situations that require speaking
When to see stuttering/fluency therapy for yourself?
exhibiting tension while speaking
avoiding situations which may require you to speak
choosing the words you say carefully (to avoid saying words you know you will stutter on)
unhappy with the way you sound
feeling stuttering holds you back from doing things you want to do
What causes stuttering?
Stuttering is a neurologically-based disorder which impairs an individual’s ability to time and sequence the underlying movements necessary for speech.
Stuttering is genetic. In fact, research has identified some of the genes that play a role in stuttering.
The exact causes of stuttering remain unclear; however, ongoing research and advancements in the field continue to shed light on this complex disorder and offer hope for effective treatment and management.
What happens during stuttering therapy with me?
During stuttering therapy, I work with preschoolers and their parents to identify and modify situations that may cause stress on the child's speech and language system. Additionally, I work directly with the child to improve their speech fluency.
For school-aged children, teenagers, and adults, I take a holistic approach to stuttering treatment. This includes education about stuttering and creating an awareness of the individual's stuttering pattern. Techniques to manage stuttering are then taught and practiced in role-playing scenarios to reduce fear and avoidance and generalize skills into everyday life.
Throughout therapy, emphasis is placed on addressing thoughts and feelings as they have a direct impact on both the individual and their speech. Principles of Avoidance Reduction Therapy (ART) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are incorporated to promote successful outcomes.
Can stuttering be cured?
Although there is no definitive cure for stuttering, there is a greater chance of recovery for young children. As a certified practitioner of the Lidcombe Program, I specialize in treating young children who stutter. For more information on this program, please visit their website.
My main goal is to assist individuals in managing their stuttering and building confidence in speaking situations, so that it does not hinder their progress. I am capable of helping both children and adults who stutter to fully participate in their lives by improving fluency and managing stuttering behaviors, reducing negative reactions such as tension, struggle, and avoidance, enhancing communication attitudes, and minimizing activity limitations and negative impacts from stuttering.
To learn more about stuttering, visit my blog post here.
Throughout my career, I have encountered numerous clients who stutter and have unfortunately had negative experiences with speech therapy in the past. I want to assure you that this should not deter you from seeking assistance. I invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation to explore how I can support you or your loved one in achieving your communication goals.