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The Relationship between Stuttering and Anxiety

By Stella Richard Subscribe to RSS | January 10th 2012 | Views:

There have been a number of theories which aim to identify the causes of stuttering. It was in the middle of the last century where experts began to believe that there were psychosomatic origins for a number of physical disorders and diseases, and stuttering was categorised into one of them.

Is there a correlation between anxiety and stuttering?

A number of research papers and case studies have been produced to study the correlation between anxiety and this speech disorder. While there is minimal evidence which supports this statement, this common disorder has been noticed among patients of all age who have inculcated high levels of anxiety in them.

On the other side, it has also been observed that children who stutter are typically more anxious about life in general than children who don’t. Those affected with any form of speech disabilities in their childhood are more likely to develop anxiety problems in their adolescence. Similarly, teenagers who stutter have commonly exhibited high extents in fear of communication.

It has been observed that the more complex the requirement of a social interaction the higher is the chances of the person stuttering. This further elaborates how a difficult conversation can result in the increase of anxiety levels as well enhance the risk of stuttering.

Should I worry if my Child is stuttering?

Stutter therapy experts constantly remind parents that people who stutter are no different from those who don’t. They can have a perfectly normal personality or emotional state; and that this disorder is not a consequence of a special personality type or any emotional turmoil.

Yet, there are reports that are suggestive of anxiety being a prevailing emotion among those who stutter where anxiety is sometimes believed to be a result of the disorder as against the cause.

This is very much feasible considering these people are constantly involuntarily interrupted in their speech, which is very likely the source of increased fears. This disorder leads to difficulties in social communication which leads to children often getting embarrassed and frustrated, because they are often unable to participate in group discussions.

What Can I Do As a Parent?

Parents need to understand that a child’s reaction to repetition of sounds, blocking of words, etc is reasonable and they need to be taught how to work on overcoming the disorder and accepting the situation to avoid any kind of awkwardness and disappointment which may lead to the child wanting to avoid social situations all together. The right amount of counselling and support can do wonders to your children.

Parents can help their children by being extremely patient with them and supporting them through a stringent stuttering therapy program which will psychologically as well as socially benefit them in the long run.

Stella Richard - About Author:
SpeechEasy is a patented stuttering inhibiting device. It is a prosthetic device with digital technology that delivers Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF) and Stuttering Therapy in Vancouver.

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