How to get rid of stuttering?

How to get rid of stuttering?

At the reception of a speech therapist.

Consultant of the heading: the teacher – speech therapist of the first category of the Regional psychological, medical and pedagogical consultation, E.A.Vyalova

Stuttering is a very serious challenge for a child, as it is an obstacle not only to the expression of their thoughts and experiences, but also interferes with communication with other children. It is desirable to start the correction of stuttering in early childhood and do everything possible to minimize its manifestation even before the beginning of school education. The most ideal scenario is to see a specialist when the speech defect has only just begun to show itself.

Where do you start? First of all, you need to determine the type of stuttering, because it will depend on it the plan of further action.

Logoneurosis or neurotic stuttering is a result of a psychologically traumatic situation in children who are prone to neurotic reactions which occur due to innate features of the nervous system (“breakdowns” of the CNS in such children do not exist). For example, a dreamy and sensitive by nature, a melancholic child or an excitable restless choleric child, is more prone to stuttering than a naturally calm phlegmatic one. This type of stuttering may also occur against a background of a sharp increase in the verbal load, for example, when a normally speaking, but fearful 3-year-old baby melancholic asked to learn a poem or role, which is too difficult for him at the moment.

Neurosis-like stuttering, unlike the first type, arises and grows gradually. It finally reveals itself when the child starts to speak in whole sentences. Often you can see that in addition to speech problems this baby is behind in both physical and mental development. Neurological examination of such a child is likely to reveal signs of a general defeat of the central nervous system, and they are the very causes of stuttering in this case.

Who treats stuttering, and how? The treatment for stuttering is ALWAYS complex, and should begin only after a comprehensive examination.

If doctors decide that your child has a neurotic type of stuttering (logoneurosis), the main specialist with whom you will have contact will be a child psychologist. His or her main tasks will be to teach relaxation techniques, release muscle and emotional tension, increase the emotional stability of the child to stress, to teach parents the methods for effective interaction with the child, taking into account his or her nervous system, and the choice of optimal educational measures. It is also likely that administration of pharmacotherapy in the form of soothing and relieving muscle spasms, which a neurologist can correctly select. Of course, work with a speech therapist will also be required.

In the case of neurosis-like stuttering, it is more necessary to work with a speech therapist, since this type of stuttering requires more speech therapy, which must be regular and continuous (at least a year). The main goal of the speech therapist’s work is to teach the child to speak correctly. A neurologist will also have to be followed up, which is likely to prescribe a longterm complex medical treatment, neglecting which will not crown speech therapy with success. Psychotherapeutic help in this case does not play a leading role.

In order for a child to overcome a stutter, only work with specialists is not enough. It is important to learn how to interact with your child in a constructive way and how to create a calm and understanding atmosphere in the home, otherwise all the work done by the specialists will be in vain.

When communicating with your child, try to adhere to the following rules.

– Observe the daily routine, it helps to structure anxiety.

– Give your child at least 8 hours of sleep at night.

– Get used to talking to your child slowly, in a soft, calm voice. Express the same wishes to the teachers in the kindergarten.

– Avoid raised tones and the more explosive intonations, abrupt gestures.

– When your baby is telling you something, don’t push him/her and don’t interrupt.

– Show affection more often, support the child with tactile contact.

– Less criticism, and more often praise even the smallest progress.

– Monitor your emotional balance if you feel that you have become irritable for no reason, consult a psychologist.

The main ways to treat stuttering in children

Speech Therapy

The task of speech therapy is to release speech stuttering child from stress, the elimination of incorrect pronunciation and education of a clear articulation and rhythmic, smooth, expressive speech. At first, the child performs tasks together with the speech therapist, then exercises independently in oral storytelling. The child should consolidate the acquired skills in everyday conversation with others. The increase in the difficulty of the exercises chosen for treatment depends on the degree of the child’s speech independence.

Breathing exercises

Using the traditional method of treating stuttering in children allows you to make your voice more natural and free. Exercises have a positive effect on the entire breathing system. Thanks to lessons baby trains the diaphragm, forcing it to participate in the process of vocalization, learns to breathe deeply, makes the vocal cords more mobile, which allows them to close in a conversation.

Control the correct speech breathing: put the palm of your hand on the area between your chest and abdomen. When you breathe in, the abdominal wall lifts and the lower part of the chest expands. When you exhale, the abdominal and chest muscles contract.

Exercises for the development of speech breathing

1. Stand up straight. Make an exhalation, and then a breath and start exhaling at the sound F. Take care not to inflate the cheeks – exhaled jet comes out only through the gap formed by the teeth and lower lip. Breathe in through your nose, lips should be closed when breathing in. The exercise should be done three or four times in a row, making sure that the exhalation lasts for at least eight or nine counting units. Do the same exercise for the other consonantal sounds: C, Sch, X, W, G.

2. Gradually lengthen the exhalation, first counting on the exhalation up to 5, then up to 10…

3. With time, counting should be replaced by maxims or short phrases.

Treatment with breathing exercises can be supplemented by relaxation.

Relaxation gymnastics (muscle release) – the skill of voluntary muscle relaxation is practiced through exercises that accustom you to feel strong tension followed by relaxation. The duration of daily exercises is 5-7 minutes, 2 times a day.

Exercises for the muscles of the arms, legs, trunk and neck

“Tin soldiers and rag dolls” To picture tin soldiers, stand up straight, clench your fingers into a fist, concentrate on the tension in the muscles of the arms, legs and body. Sharp turns of the whole body to the right and left are made, the neck, arms and shoulders remain immobile. Your feet stand still on the floor. After doing a few turns, release tension by imitating rag dolls. Rotate the torso sharply to the right and left, with the arms dangling passively, making circular movements around the body. The feet on the floor stand still.

“Icicle” From a squatting position, slowly rise up, imagining that the icicle is “growing,” raise your hands up and, standing on your toes, try to stretch out as much as possible, straining your whole body – the icicle has “grown. After the speech therapist says, “The sun has warmed up and the icicle has begun to melt,” slowly lower your arms, relaxing your whole body, go down, sit on the floor, and then lie down, completely relaxed, “the icicle has melted and turned into a puddle. Pay attention to the pleasant feeling of relaxation.

Exercises for mimic and articulation muscles

1. Tilt your head back slightly, tense the muscles of the neck for 5-10 seconds, concentrating your attention on this sensation. Relax and drop your head back down.

2. Move your forehead up and raise your eyebrows for 5-10 seconds, concentrating on the feeling of tension in the forehead area.

3. Frown intensely for 5-10 seconds, concentrating on the feeling of tension between the eyes.

4. Close your eyelids tightly for 5-10 seconds, concentrating on the feeling of tension in them.

5. Clench your teeth for 5-10 seconds. Pay attention to the tension extending from the jaw to the temples.

6. Smile widely and show your teeth for 5 seconds. Notice the tension in the cheeks.

7. Extend the lips into a tube and blow for 10 seconds. Notice the tension in the lips.

8. Press your tongue against your front teeth for 10 seconds, paying attention to the tension in your tongue.

9. Pull the tongue back for 10 seconds. Tension should occur in the tongue, at the bottom of the mouth and in the neck.

10. Yowl lightly, more deeply, very deeply. On the last yawn, close your eyes and stretch the muscles of the mouth and throat.

For optimal results, it is necessary to:

– observe consistency in the relaxation of the muscles of the arms, legs, body, neck and organs of articulation;

– feel and control the smoothness of the transition from tension to relaxation;

– perform the movements leisurely, rhythmically, without overexerting oneself;

– breathe freely during the exercises.

This control will make it easier to make the transition to deep relaxation, resulting in freedom of action and the ability to control muscles.

Acupressure

The course of treatment with acupressure massage is chosen depending on the complexity of the case. During the treatment, the specialist works on points located on the back, face, chest and legs. The first results of treatment may be noticeable after one course, depending on the form of stuttering and the age of the child. Thanks to acupuncture massage the nervous regulation of speech is restored, that is why it is necessary to conduct exercises constantly.

Computer programs

Special computer programs are used to treat stuttering, allowing the child’s auditory and speech centers to be synchronized. The child speaks words into the microphone, and the program automatically delays speech for a fraction of a second. Thus, the child hears his or her own voice with a delay and tries to adjust to it. Your baby’s speech becomes uninterrupted and smooth. You can use the program to play certain situations that arise when communicating, such as objection, anger, discontent. The child has to answer into the microphone. Then the program evaluates how the child coped with the task and suggests what needs to be improved.

Above all, do not show your child your anxiety – it will cause him or her even more stress. And, of course, don’t make fun of him or her or embarrass him or her. Do not fixate on your child’s speech, do not show him/her your dissatisfaction and anxiety caused by stuttering.

Overcoming stuttering is a difficult and time-consuming process. It will require regular lessons with your child and patience. But if there is a goal, achieving it is a great blessing.

Stuttering in adults: causes and basic methods of correction

Among speech disorders occurring today, one of the most common and difficult is stuttering. It is caused by muscle spasms in the speech apparatus and is accompanied by hiccups, repetition of individual sounds and the introduction of extra words into the speech.

This pathology develops in childhood, the first symptoms can be noticed in a child at the age of 4-5 years, but some people begin to stutter at a more mature age. Stutterers often consider their own disease incurable, because visits to speech therapists have not been successful. However, stuttering is not a sentence – with the right approach to correction you can get rid of this speech defect. In this article, we will consider possible ways of treating stuttering.

A little history and causes of occurrence

Stuttering, as a pathology of speech, arose very long time ago. Stutterers were found among the ancient Incas, Persian kings, Greek pharaohs, etc. Often, stuttering suffered from the most famous and intelligent people of his time. They independently tried to get rid of their own ailment in various ways.

We are most familiar with the story of Demosthenes. This ancient Greek philosopher developed his own system of breathing exercises, which he performed in front of a mirror, uttered long phrases in difficult conditions (when climbing on a hill, with a strong sound of waves, with stones in his mouth, etc.). Demosthenes also paid great attention to psychogenic training. He was a very shy and impressionable man, but thanks to his titanic work he became a great orator, able to make long speeches in front of crowds of thousands.

The story of Demosthenes, described by Plutarch, is a vivid example of the fact that it is possible to get rid of stuttering, but for this you need to spend tremendous effort. But it does not shed any light on the causes of stuttering.

Since ancient times, many researchers have tried to deal with the problem of treatment for stuttering. According to them, this speech disorder can be caused by such factors:

  • A stressful situation. In some cases, the speech impairment becomes noticeable at an early age, but many such children spoke quite normally until a certain point. Stuttering is caused by a psychologically traumatic situation, such as a severe fright. However, fear in childhood was experienced by many people, and about 2-3% of the population of the world become stutterers. Probably, these people had some predisposition;
  • neurological pathology. Abnormalities in the CNS departments responsible for speech function can occur against the background of trauma, contusion, after infectious diseases. Pathology can also develop due to some sluggish chronic diseases;
  • hereditary predisposition. If there is a stutterer in the family, the likelihood of developing this speech disorder becomes higher. It is believed that genetically determined stuttering should manifest itself in the first seven years of life. If this did not happen, then such disorders in speech the person will no longer be. As a rule, stuttering is passed on through the generation, but sometimes children just imitate the “sloppy” speech of people close to them.

The causes described above have one thing in common: they all lead to a weakened nervous system. Some people’s psyche suffers under the influence of external factors, and someone was born with a weakened nervous system, for example, due to an unfavorable course of pregnancy. In any case, it is best to begin the treatment of stuttering with a consultation with a neurologist.

Features of the pathology

The difficulty in the treatment of stuttering is also the fact that this pathology has a large number of forms. Such heterogeneity indicates the complexity of the origin of stuttering. This disorder of speech is often accompanied by disorders of the muscular apparatus. The stutterer may experience general tension, be stiff and angular or, on the contrary, excessively mobile.

There are also general psychological features of people who stutter:

  1. Over-impressiveness.
  2. Excessive shyness and embarrassment in the presence of strangers.
  3. Vivid imagination, which has the effect of intensifying the speech defect.
  4. Weakened volitional side of the character. before the need to speak in the presence of a large number of people.

As a rule, all stutterers focus strongly on their defect. And, the more a person expects a stuttering attack, the stronger it becomes.

In adults, stuttering is often accompanied by psychological problems. This defect makes life very difficult for them. Many stutterers can not get a good job, they are inaccessible to career development, they are not able to build relationships with the opposite sex. All this leads to a stutterer becoming even more withdrawn. He experiences a feeling of loneliness, against which he can develop nephrosis, depression and other mental disorders.

Based on the causes of occurrence, stuttering is divided into two types.

Evolutionary is a speech disorder that occurs at an early age (2 to 5 years). It can develop gradually, or it can occur suddenly as a result of an individual predisposition or mental trauma. Evolutionary stuttering is commonly referred to as neurotic (logoneurosis) and neurosis-like.

The second type of stuttering is secondary or symptomatic . This speech pathology occurs on the background of other diseases, such as head trauma, epilepsy, etc.

Methods of correction

Stuttering, like other diseases, is easier to correct in its early stages. In some cases, it is possible to get rid of this speech disorder in just a few weeks. But most often it takes much longer.

As mentioned above, treatment should begin with a visit to a neurologist. The doctor will conduct an examination, the purpose of which will be to discover the causes of speech dysfunction. If stuttering is due to a malfunction in the central or peripheral nervous system, the patient will be prescribed adequate medication. In addition, the treatment of stuttering will deal with such specialists:

  • Reflexologist. To eliminate stuttering, it is important to get rid of muscle clamps, localized in the shoulder girdle, neck and abdomen;
  • psychotherapist. Modern psychotherapeutic techniques will help to identify the psychological causes of the problem and eliminate them. As a result, you can not only normalize speech but also completely change your life for the better. Become more confident in their own abilities, learn to get out of difficult life situations, improve relationships with other people, etc.;
  • speech therapist. Special logopedic exercises will allow you to develop correct speech breathing, learn to pronounce sounds, control the speed of speech and its tempo.

Comprehensive treatment and constant work on yourself will allow you to achieve sustainable results in the shortest possible time.

Remember that a one-time visit to a speech therapist will not help. You should also not count on the fact that the doctor will give you a “miracle pill” and stuttering disappears. This speech disorder will pass only if the stutterer will strictly follow the recommendations of all professionals throughout the course of treatment.

Methods of treatment

In modern speech therapy, defectology and psychiatry in the treatment of stuttering use methods developed in the last century by Soviet specialists.

There are several techniques, but they are not fundamentally different. When working with children usually uses a set of pedagogical and logopedic techniques. But in the treatment of adults, more attention is paid to the psychological component of the problem with the use of psychotherapeutic and medical methods.

Traditional methods of correction of stuttering usually consist of several stages, each of which requires careful work on the previous one:

  1. Preparation. Over the course of 2 or 3 days, the patient is diagnosed. He is examined by doctors of various specialties, as well as a speech therapist.
  2. Setting. After the patient is evaluated, speech therapy is offered to the patient. At this stage, group therapy is often used. Stuttering people who have had success with their ailment are invited to the meeting. They share their experiences, giving encouragement to other stutterers to work on themselves.
  3. Silence. Restricting speech communication is an important step in the correction of all types of stuttering. The patient should not speak for about 5 days, after which there is a period of moderate speech rest. During this stage, the stutterer learns techniques of reflected and conjugated speech, is actively engaged in articulation exercises, performs exercises on the statement of speech breathing.
  4. Restructuring of speech skills. This is the longest phase, it could last about four weeks. We can say that during this time, a person has to literally learn to talk all over again. He will have to prepare conversations on suggested topics, retell texts, work on dialogues, etc.
  5. To consolidate the results. The acquired skills should be brought to automatism.

Quite often the treatment ends with some sort of assembly or themed evening. All patients have to prepare a performance; they can recite poems, participate in theatrical productions, etc. This is not only necessary to demonstrate the success of the treatment. In this way, it is possible to get rid of fear of performing in public and build confidence in one’s own abilities.

Participation in school plays helped Bruce Willis to get rid of stuttering. He started stuttering when he was a teenager, after his parents divorced and he entered high school. By working on himself, Bruce was able to become president of the student council, and much later, to become a world-famous actor.

Some popular techniques include psychotherapeutic influence. Hypnotherapy is successfully used in the correction of stuttering, and patients are also recommended to have self-involvement sessions. To relieve muscle tension, patients may engage in therapeutic exercise, and massage and other relaxation procedures may be recommended during corrective work.

Modern methods

Treatment of stuttering according to the traditional scheme used by a large number of specialists requires a long time. Besides, not in all cases, it allows to achieve the desired result. Therefore, many stutterers are trying to find their own ways to get rid of this disorder of speech.

To date, has gained great popularity book Andrew Kuznetsov “Stuttering: Bet – Life” . In which the author talks about his own experience. Andrew has stuttered since childhood, as well as his older brother and grandfather, considering his illness incurable. This disorder severely hampered the life of a young man, so at age 25, he began to study the problem himself. As a result, Andrew came to the conclusion that all his life he had been taught to stutter instead of learning to talk! Kuznetsov’s work culminated in the development of a unique method of getting rid of stuttering.

There is something similar in the method of Academician R. A. Snezhko. He also believes that stuttering is the result of a person not knowing how to pronounce sounds correctly. During his sessions, Roman Alexeevich teaches patients to distinguish the names of letters from the pronunciation of sounds, correctly put accents, divide words into syllables, etc.

Classes in both methods will be useful to all without exception. But if a stammering is caused by a lesion of the central nervous system, it is unlikely that one can do without the help of a neurologist.

Relaxation and self-massage

It is possible to try to get rid of stuttering yourself. The first thing to pay attention to is muscle and emotional relaxation. These two components ensure normal natural speech. Therefore, a stutterer must, first of all, learn to voluntarily relax the muscles, getting rid of excess tension.

Relaxation techniques can help with this. One can do exercises for tension and instantaneous relaxation of muscles, they will help to create a sense of contrast between the tense and relaxed state. To perform the exercise, you should strongly tense, for example, the neck, and then relax it as much as possible. The exercise can be performed on any muscle group.

There are whole complexes of exercises that will help you learn to relax your own muscles. To achieve the desired effect, when performing them, follow certain rules:

  • Control the strength of muscle tension not only with the help of bodily sensations. Do the exercises in front of the mirror, controlling the muscle movements visually, it will make it easier to go to a deep relaxation;
  • exercises should be performed daily for 5-7 minutes. As a result, there will be no overstrain in the use of the speech musculature when speaking;
  • The complex should include exercises not only for the speech apparatus. When stuttering, it is important to reduce muscle tone in the arms, abdomen, shoulders and neck;
  • exercise should be unhurried, rhythmically performing exercises. Do not allow overexertion;
  • Pay attention to your breathing – it should be free.

After all the exercises have been mastered, you can complicate them a bit by adding a phonation. Start speaking in a moment of relaxation, pronouncing smoothly and long vowel sounds and their combinations. Then move on to pronouncing syllables and whole words.

Self-massage can help to get rid of tension or, conversely, to tone up weak muscles. It comes in two types: hygienic and vibratory. In the first case, the procedure is performed by stroking. This method activates the nerve endings, which are close to the skin, and normalizes the tone of facial and mimic muscles. The vibrating massage uses vigorous tapping to activate the underlying nerve endings.

You can learn the techniques of relaxation and self-massage on your own, for example, with the help of the Internet. But you can also ask for help from specialists. An experienced doctor will not only show you the basic techniques, but will also check the correctness of the procedures, point out the mistakes, and choose the most effective exercises and techniques.

Psychotherapy

Stuttering is a speech pathology. But for its removal in adults often need the help of a psychotherapist. If we describe the problem simply, it turns out that a person is able to speak correctly, but because of internal fears or other psychological problems there is a muscle spasm that provokes a speech disorder.

There are a huge number of such examples, for example, stuttering was Elvis Presley. As soon as the king of rock and roll became agitated, the words seemed to get stuck in his throat, but as soon as he calmed down, his speech became normal. In some recordings, you can hear the singer stuttering when talking to the audience between songs, but there is no defect during the singing. There is a version that the young Presley was advised to sing by his doctor, but there is no exact confirmation of this.

That is why when working with adult patients a great role is assigned to psychotherapy. The most effective method of psychotherapeutic intervention for stuttering is hypnotherapy. During a hypnosis session, the doctor tries to strengthen the patient’s belief in his/her own strength, and eliminate his/her fears and worries. Other methods of psychotherapy may also be used to achieve these objectives. Their choice depends on the individual characteristics of the patient, the causes identified and the severity of the disorder.

Quite often, the correction of stuttering begins with the elimination of other disorders, a symptom of which it acts. Speech impairment can be provoked by dementia, phobias, anxiety disorders, neuroses and even schizophrenia. Naturally, in this case, the doctor’s efforts are aimed at eliminating the underlying disease, and stuttering is seen as a secondary symptom. If it is possible to successfully treat the underlying pathology, then the stuttering passes on its own.

There are cases where the cured patient begins to stutter again after some time. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps to avoid a relapse. This technique involves identifying the patient’s irrational thoughts and beliefs, recognizing their irrationality, and replacing them with rational attitudes. As a result of this work, the patient not only gets rid of existing psychological problems, but also learns to confront them in the future.

A positive outlook on life and the right inner attitudes ensure mental health, which means there will be no more reasons for stuttering!

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