Tips to Reduce the Effects of Stuttering

Stuttering is a frustrating and confusing ailment that affects many people across the world. One person's case of stuttering can be completely different from the next person's case of stuttering. There are some stuttering tips you can try, though, to lower the amount of times you find yourself stuttering.

1. Finish your thoughts even when someone interrupts you. An interruption in speech can cause you to stutter. Society teachers interfering as rude, but you should continue to talk without losing your train of thought.

2. Pay attention to what you are saying. Develop the habit of listening to the syllables and pauses in words that instigate you into stuttering. When you are able to identify triggers, you can work on improving them.

3. Build your self-confidence. Stuttering is not something you should be accused of. Build your self-confidence by talking to people more often. Go out into public, and meet strangers you can talk to. The more comfortable you become with yourself, the more you are going to forget that you have a stuttering habit.

4. Try not to rush. It is a natural thing to speak faster when you become excited about a topic. It will be difficult to slow your rate of speech down when you become excited, but it is less likely that you will stutter when you talk slower.

5. Ease into difficult words. Take a minute or two between thoughts, so you can ease into beginning sounds. You can even break words into syllables if it helps you ease into difficult words.

6. Keep your stress level low. Stress can increase your stuttering, so keep your stress down. Anxiety is another factor that causes people to stutter. A good stuttering tip is identifying when you begin to feel anxious in a situation. Briefly remove yourself, so you have the time to calm down. Then, return to the situation when you are ready to continue your conversation.

7. Repeat a sentence after you have stutter. You stuttered through a sentence. Now, go back and try to say it again without stuttering. Repeat phrases over and over until you can successfully say them without a mishap. You can repeat the phrase as many times as you need. The important thing is to convince yourself and prove to yourself that you can say it without stuttering.

8. Take tension out of your face and body. It is common for people who stutter to tense their faces and bodies in order to get words out. Release the tension in your hands and face by taking a deep breath and blowing it all the way out.

Listed above are 8 stuttering tips to abide by if you have a stuttering problem. It is important to remember that you have nothing to be accused of when you stutter. Become comfortable with the way you speak. Take pride in trying to better yourself – it takes a lot of patience, guts, and determination to do what you are trying to accomplish.

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How Stuttering Can Make You a Better Speaker-Presenter

Believe it or not, people who have stuttered / stammered can become better than average speakers. You ask, “How is this possible?”

People with this type of speech impediment who are highly motivated to stop stuttering are prime candidates for becoming excellent speakers. There are a few key reasons I believe and have proven that this is true. First, here is a small list of contemporary famous people who either stutter or stuttered:

1. Samuel L. Jackson – Actor

2. Bruce Willis – Actor

3. James Earl Jones – Actor

4. Bill Withers – Songwriter and Singer

5. Bo Jackson – Football star

6. Senator, Now Vice President (USA) Joe Biden

7. Rowan Atkinson – British actor who plays Mr. Bean

Obviously, those people, despite their stutter have gone on to do incredible work, which has required them to master the art of speaking.

Second, people who stutter / stammer have a heightened awareness of speech and themselves. They are quick thinkers and capable of manipulating words to their benefit because they've had to, when they needed to communicate. A sharp mind is required to quickly pick and choose words and phrases, and anticipate situations when they were about to stutter. The beauty of this is, this same ability and skill can be transformed from avoiding stuttering to outstanding speech.

Finally, a person who stutters has the ability to learn how to control his or her breathing, rhythm, and tone, voice quality to a high degree because they tend to be very conscious of these factors as a stutterer.

They are also capable of creating and delivering great presentations without notes because they often do not like to read in public. Reading requires one to say certain words, in a certain order. If any of those words present a problem, the reader either has to struggle with the word or phrase, skip it or make up another word that works.

Friends, I personally used the above concept to teach myself how to create long and short, broad and very detailed presentations completely in my head. I could then deliver these presentations as if I had a detailed set of notes in front of me. Sometimes I would have only a few brief notes in outline format to refresh my memory, but I usually did not need them.

If you stutter or stammer you are sitting on a goldmine. You have the potential to become an excellent speaker, even a great speaker. You can be one of the best conversationalists around. Why? It's simple; you have developed certain coping characteristics, abilities and skills that give you an extra edge and speaking ability.

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The Dyslexic Brain in Plain English

Even in these modern times, society still perceives Dyslexics as stupid individuals and slow learners. The primary reason behind this is that the media, monitored of newspapers, television, and radio are not up to date with modern science. Science today already understands the differences between a Dyslexic brain and a non-Dyslexic brain. These differences explain many of the symptoms of Dyslexia but highlight the strengths of Dyslexics as well. Only when society catches up with scientific findings will people realize the strengths of Dyslexics and the many things that are capable of.

The symptoms of Dyslexia vary from one person to another. However, a symptom that is commonly found in all Dyslexics is the difficulty to associate sounds with a sequence of letters. When all brain types read a single word, they break the word up to its individual parts. For instance the word “vehicle” needs to be processed as “ve-hi-cle” before the brain knows what the word means. This is the process of associating each syllable to its matching sound. This task is difficult and slow for a Dyslexic brain to process especially when learning new words. Dyslexics can understand the previous words that they already learned by remembering the entire word pattern and sound, but it is hard for them to find the matching sound for every sequence of letters in new words. This is due to Dyslexic brains having corrupted memory when associating letters and sounds. This same difficulty is encountered when Dyslexics engage in writing. All people need to sound out the words in their heads first before being able to transfer the sequence of letters in a written form. With Dyslexics however, because of the corrupted memory of letters and sounds mentioned earlier, they find the act of writing as challenging and difficult as reading.

One powerful theory that attempts to explain these symptoms is the “Magnocellular Theory of Dyslexia.” Brain scientists know that every person has “magnocells” in the brain and the cells found in a Dyslexic brain are deformed for some unknown reason. These “magnocells” are responsible for the proper timing of the body's sensory functions such as sound and vision. These deformed “magnocells” force a Dyslexic brain to over compensate and this is why unusual brain activity is seen in Dyslexics. This also explains why they have certain weaknesses such as difficulty with language, and strengths like thinking 'out of the box' with ease. There are also “magnocells” that are located in the eyes and the auditory parts of the brain. This means that when a Dyslexic's brain is reading and their eyes sweep through a line of words, their eyes struggle to track the sequence of letters. This causes the information sent to the brain to be jumbled up. This further explains why Dyslexics have inconsistencies in reading and writing. The same is true when identifying sounds. Since the “magnocells” in the auditory parts of the brain are also deformed, Dyslexics find it hard to identify the difference between similar sounds like “ba” and “da”.

The best way to overcome these problems is to screen all children for Dyslexia from an early age. By doing this, teaching methods and technology can be used to overcome the hurdles of the Dyslexic brain. These teaching methods and technologies already exist but they are not yet available to the masses. But once they are, they will bring out the full potential of Dyslexics. When this happens, Dyslexics will be able to use their strengths and abilities for the benefit of society.

Once people know what Dyslexia is and how it affects the brain, they can slowly comprehend what Dyslexics are going through. With this knowledge, they can understand how advances in science and technology have provided modern techniques to overcome Dyslexia. Dyslexics can then master their strengths and abilities for the benefit of all. Thus, enabling them to come out to the world and be seen in a new light, also to be accepted as an integral part of society.

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Overcome Stuttering – When You’re Motivated, You Will Do It!

Most people who over stuttering want to maintain their speech fluency. They ensure that they use their technique each time they open their mouths to speak.

It's not a difficult concept. Using skills to overcome stuttering can be compared to using other life skills. People choose to be trained in all sorts of activities during their lives. Sometimes it's your boss who tells you that you must undertake a course in this or that. The motivation for these situations tend to come from a desire to please, to be promoted, to be seen as conforming or to simply improve your understanding of a subject or area your boss felt you needed improvement in. This type of thing happens regularly in most people's lives. Whether or not the individual retains the newly-learnt information or techniques depends on a large extent on relevance or the importance of the new knowledge in the day-to-day activities of the individual.

As human beings, we really only retain information, ideas and techniques that are important to ourselves, our lives. If something is useful or we have an interest in a certain area or activity then we are more inclined to adopt the ideas or activity. Sometimes certain activities that we choose to be active in require plenty of concentration and practice for us to be proficient. I would like to use the example of 'golf'. Playing golf is an activity that many people enjoy socially and for many, at a competitive level. Some social players frustrated with their game feel that they would benefit from undertaking professional lessons in the art of striking the ball and getting the thinking right – because as we all know, there is so much more to being an excellent golfer than just being able to swing correctly. During the golf lessons players would be taught correct techniques for striking the ball, club selection, the effect of weather and putting surface, etc. As well as the practical how-to information, the instructor will discuss the mental attitude towards the game of golf and how to be positive, calm and assertive and to employ correct relaxed breathing technique before striking the ball.

The results of all this information vary with each recipient. Some individuals will think about what they have learned during the course and forget most of it by the time they play another round. Some will think of the money they have spent on the course, that alone will motivate them to use many of the techniques initially, but many, after a time, fall by the wayside. Some people with high levels of motivation and eagerness to play golf at the highest level understand that they have been given all the tools to play golf well, they have been given ideas of what has to go on within the mind to consistently be successful. They realize that success in this perplexing sport will only occur with strict perseverance and practice. They take every opportunity to practice because they can see improvement in their game and their confidence is lifting. They address their technique and thoughts before they approach the ball. They might not always think the right way when they strike their ball, so they go out of their way way to seek more knowledge. “How can I get my thinking right?” “How can I be more controlled and calm before I hit the ball?” “I still feel tense before I hit the ball, my breathing is not right.” In order to improve in these areas many may choose to seek out further help, for example by doing a yoga or meditation course.

Undertaking good home-based stuttering therapy is only the first step to improve a stutter. For people who are highly motivated in their quest for fluency, giving up is not an option. Gaining control over your stutter for the first time is wonderful and liberating and if you want that to be ongoing then it has to come from within. Once you have the initial tools for recovery, the rest is, YES, UP TO YOU! Address your technique every time you go to speak, use your daily booster, use your network support, and enjoy the feeling that fluency can offer. You be the boss of your mind and overcome the stuttering. Join me on that road to speech fluency.

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Exercises to Improve a Stutter

Basically, stuttering is a disruption with the normal flow of speech. It is a speech disorder where sounds, syllables or words are continuously being repeated by the speaker. It's also sometimes associated with stammering.

Let me give you some guideline to get stuttering.

1. Find a comfortable quiet place to do the exercise. Settle yourself and relax.

2. Try to articulate and pronounce the vowels A, E, I, O, U, giving more exaggeration on the letters E, I, O, U. Do this for about a minute or two.

3. Do some breathing exercises. For 3minutes, take some deep breaths. Make sure that you fill up your lungs and slowly exhale. Repeat, but do not rush.

4. For 3 minutes, repeat the breathing exercise but this time pushing your tongue against your palate arrogantly.

5. Now for 3 minutes fill your lungs again with air, while putting pressure to tighten your shoulders and lips.

6. Next, do a 2 minutes breathing exercise while pressing the thoracic muscles as if you are putting back the air in your belly.

After these exercises, grab a book and read a text and start reading it without firmness on each word. Refrain from ridging on the words. In case it is not avoided, do not stop, just continue reading the sentence. This way you will be able to overcome stammering.

Make it a daily habit to do these exercises on a daily basis for the next 2 to 3 months. You will be able to notice a drastic change in the long term. Remember though that stuttering or stammering can not be cure overnight. You have to work really hard with these exercises, be patient and relax every time you do it. The exercises will help you a lot, but of course it will take time and effort.

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How to Stop Stuttering & Start Speaking

If you stutter, you'll want to read this article carefully. I stuttered for over 20 years. From the time I was 5 years old until my mid twenties. My parents and I tried therapy, prayer, fasting, and anything else we could think of and nothing worked, at least not for very long.

It was not until I was in my mid-twenties and was so fed up with my job and life that I did some real soul searching. I knew that if I were ever going to be happy, fulfilled and as productive as I could be, I would need to find a way to stop stuttering. After several months of research, I finally came to the conclusion that what I wanted to do with my life would involve and be pretty much based on my ability to communicate effectively. That is, present or speak in public.

When this became clear to me I immediately thought to myself, “This is not going to work. I stutter.” But, immediately I knew that there was no other option, I would either learn to stop stuttering and be happier, more fulfilled and productive or go on living life far below my potential. The latter was not an option. Well, it happened that I had been listening to Brian Tracy on Time Management and Personal Achievement and came across a story he told about a lady with a slight stutter.

This lady was married with a family, she was shy and had a slight stutter. One day she was involved in bad car accident and was in a coma. When she recovered, she had amnesia. She could not remember her family or anything about her former life. She had to develop an entirely new life for herself. But here's the amazing news, she also could not remember that she stuttered. The light bulb went off! Maybe there was a way I could stop stuttering … get amnesia! No I'm just kidding. Effectively what she had to do was develop an entirely new self-concept. She had to form new beliefs about who she was, how she would act and live out her life in each and every area. Could I possibly do the same (without the amnesia that is)? Well, the answer turned out to be a resounding yes!

Over the next few months I used a combination of techniques to not only stop stuttering , but also became a professional speaker. The professional part came sometimes a year later. The point is, with a lot of hard, persistent work, using this strategy that I had stumbled upon, I was able to gradually reduce my stuttering, while simultaneously increasing my ability to speak in public and private for that matter.

Here's the point to this story. I knew I was capable of doing more than I was. I knew I wanted and needed to do more with my life and help others. The only way from where I was to where I wanted to be was to overcome stuttering. There were many times I felt like giving up and probably did for a while. I became frustrated because things were not progressing as fast I thought they should. Sometimes I would relapse and begin stuttering again and get so frustrated that I though I was going to explode. But I did not of course πŸ™‚ I kept at it because the end result was a life far more rewarding than I could ever imagine.

Here are a few reasons many people who start programs fail to complete them and reach their goal of stutter-free living:

  1. Unrealistic Expectations
  2. Impatience
  3. Looking for a quick solution
  4. No compelling and enduring desire to stop stuttering
  5. Ignore the psychological and emotional aspect of stuttering
  6. Ignore the need to put into constant practice what they are learning about how to stop stuttering
  7. Simply believe that they will never really be able to be stutter-free and think they will have to live with it for the rest of their life.

Friends, let me challenge and encourage you right now. There is hope. But it will take some hard, sustained work. Here's a question for those of you thinking that you do not have time or do not want to work on something for a long time, “Is not the time going to pass anyway?” Would not you rather be working toward the life you want, than trying this or that quick fix? Would not you rather be working on a clear-cut sustained path toward the life you want? I'm sure, you'll say yes, yes?

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Speech Therapy – How to Teach the F and V Sounds

Does your child have difficulty with the F and V sounds? F and V are fairly easy sounds to teach because they are produced at the front of the mouth, making it easy for the child to watch and imitate. Children who have trouble with these sounds commonly substitute P for F and B for V, although other errors may also be made. The F and V sounds should be mastered by age four.

F and V are produced by touching the upper teeth to the lower lip. F is produced by passing the breath between the teeth and lip. V is produced in the same way with the voice “turned on.”

Teaching Tips:

1. F and V are easy sounds to teach because the placement is so easy to see. Instruct the child to “bite his lip and blow” to produce F. After the F is produced, instruct him to “turn his voice on” to produce the V. Use of a mirror may be helpful.

2. Work on audit discrimination between the error sound and F or V. (“Is this a pig or a fig?”)

3. If V is not vocalized, thereby sounding like an F, have the child feel the vibrations on his neck while saying the sound. Produce V before or after a vowel (“Va, Vee, uh-V”).

Once your child can imitate the F and V sounds, have him practice words that contain these sounds. With lots of practice you should see improvement before long! If your child continues to struggle with articulation, especially if he has many errors, an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist is recommended.

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Speech and Language Disorders – More Than Speech Sounds

When you think of a speech / language disorder, what comes to your mind? A child who stutters? One who says, “wabbit” for “rabbit?” An autistic child who has only a few words in his spoken vocabulary? Speech-language pathologists work with a wide range of issues. These issues fall into several main categories:

Articulation

Articulation disorders include any type of speech sound errors.

Language

A language disorder is a deficiency in receptive language (comprehension), expressive language (speaking), or both. The child may have deficiencies in vocabulary, have difficulty formulating complete sentences or difficulty answering questions. He may exhibit poor grammar or misuse pronouns. His speech may sound fairly normal, but he may not use it appropriately in social situations.

Stuttering

A child (or adult) who stutters has difficulty with the fluency of his speech. He or she may repeat sounds or syllables. He may stretch out sounds at the beginning of words or “get stuck” when speaking. He may avoid social situations that he fears will cause him to stutter. Many children exhibit short periods of disfluency between the ages of two and four as their language skills are rapidly increasing. This can be perfectly normal. If the symptoms are severe, or if the patterns continue beyond four, it may be indicative of a stuttering problem that needs speech therapy.

Voice Disorders

The most common voice disorder in children is a hoarseness caused by vocal abuse. This is typically seen in little boys that scream a lot. It is also common in singers. This vocal abuse can cause physical damage that requires surgery. A speech pathologist can work with the child to help him or her learn speaking methods that will be gentle on the vocal folds, allowing the damage to heal.

Another common voice issue with children is hyponasality or hypernasality. These are generally affected by cleft palate (repaired or unrepaired) or hearing impairment.

Speech-language pathologists also work with some issues that are not directly related to speech, such as swallowing disorders.

If you suspect that your child may have a problem in any of these areas, a speech and language assessment may be advisable. A speech pathologist can help determine whether your child's speech behaviors need remediation, should be watched and rechecked later, or are within normal limits for his age.

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Apraxia – An Atypical Articulation Disorder

You may have heard of “apraxia,” but are unsure exactly what it is. Perhaps you have wondered whether your child's speech problem falls under this category. The official term for apraxia, approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), is “childhood apraxia of speech.” Adults can also be diagnosed with “apraxia of speech,” but this generally refers to an acquired disorder.

Most children with articulation disorders have errors that follow a predictable developmental pattern. Certain sounds, like / p /, / b /, / m /, / n,, / w / are mastered first and are consistently produced correctly. More difficult sounds, such as / th /, / r /, and / ch / are usually mastered later. Most children with articulation delays have no trouble with vowels or the rhythm of speech.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) is a deficiency in the motor planning and programming of speech. It is a neurologically-based disorder. Children with CAS have severe speech problems that do not follow developmental patterns. Some of the indicators of Childhood Apraxia of Speech are:

-Inconsistent errors – A child may produce a sound in one context, but not in another. The child may make different errors when repeating the same word or phrase several times.

-Pauses between the sounds and syllables of a word

-Annormal rhythm of speech

-Difficulty producing vowels

-More errors in longer and more complex utterances

-Unual errors

Treatment of apraxia requires different therapy techniques from standard articulation therapy. If you suspect that your child may have apraxia, it is important to seek assessment and treatment from a speech-language-pathologist with experience in this area.

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How to Stop Stammering – Why Speech Therapists Don’t Help

When I found out how to stop stammering my life completely turned around for the better. For years I had been suffering with this constant speech problem that practically ruined my social life, making it very difficult for me to meet new people and make friends. In this article I want to let you in on what I did to stop stuttering for good, and it's probably not what you're thinking.

You see, people who do not have a stutter just do not get this problem at all, which is why I think that speech therapists who have not suffered with this condition can not really relate to you. I know this because I went back and forth to see a speech therapist for years, and that was barely a barrel of laughs!

He told me that to learn how to stop stammering I should speak slower, try to make eye contact with people, and practice speaking exercises. So I tried speaking slower, and to be honest it did help a tiny bit, but speaking slower just sounded silly and I sounded like a robot. People thought there was something wrong with me and I just did not like it!

I wanted to speak like everyone else. I wanted to speak with confidence and most importantly I wanted to feel confident when talking to people I had never met before. Having a stutter made it a constant struggle to talk to strangers and I always dreaded ordering drinks at the bar or ordering food. Talking on the phone was literally out of the question and it was like a phobia.

So how did I learn how to stop stammering? Well after pointless visits to speech therapists I decided to go it alone and try to find out what the root cause of stuttering was. Not surprisingly I discovered that having a lack of self confidence and being generally shy can make a stutter worse, so I needed to learn how to become more confident.

This is what I recommend to you too. You need to tackle your stutter head on and raise your self confidence. Once you become more relaxed in your own skin you'll be able to communicate more effectively.

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Your Voice – Seven Steps to Freedom

After reading the book, “Voice In Speech and Song,” by David Blair McClosky and Barbara H. McClosky, I have distilled certain elements of their exercises to a simpler concept. The integrating element is actually derived from the FM Alexander Technique because of the importance of indirect procedures in making changes in function.

Think of it this way – instead of asking your child to help clean up the dishes after supper, you may find that it stimulates the right behavior better by asking, “How can you help now that we have finished supper?” Or instead of the archer trying to hit the target with the arrow, you may find that you hit the target with the arrow by breathing easily, relaxing your expectations, and leaning to a fine draw of the back muscles and other elements of form. In both circumstances, working more in the background of behavior will produce the desired behavior.

In the same way, instead of working directly on muscles of the larynx, we work on the elements of use that determine what those muscles of the larynx are going to do.

McCosky introduces this chapter in a pleasant way: “Sit in a comfortable position and try to invite an unstructured state of mind. ”

The only serious problem he creates is produced when giving the order, “Try to invite …” If you “try” to do anything, you will only be trying. Instead, have a frame of mind of “not trying.” Make it easy on yourself. Let us put it this way, “enter into an unresolved state of mind.” As my original Alexander Teacher, Kitty Wielopolska, once put it, “you do not have to try, just want!”

1. In beginning, place your index fingerertips in the hollow area behind each earlobe. You will be just in front of the tip of the mastoid bone and just behind the temporomandibular joint. That is where the head and neck meet. Gently flex your head with this point as the “hinge”, dropping your nose. You want to keep your height and avoid flexing at the base of the neck. Up and down, gently feeling the soft tone of the muscles in that hollow. This area is important to soften because it is the origin of some of the muscles that suspend the larynx.

2. Allow the face to go limp as possible. Let the jaw hang slack. Soften your eyes and close them if you wish. If you can become aware of the eyelids, soften them as well. You may feel things relax in the eyes by thinking of letting your eyelashes go apart.

3. If you have not already noticed, your tongue may be relaxing and you may be getting more saliva in the mouth. The root of the tongue takes up a lot of the front of your neck, so you can be sure that thinking of the front of the neck will help you soften the tongue.This is important because the hyoid bone under the tongue is a major element in the state and position of the larynx.

4. Once you have moved through these parts of your head / neck apparatus, you will also have accomplished relaxation of the spinning muscles. Your collarbones are also part of this system. Adding your awareness of the neck to include the collarbones may show you that you have some tension down there. If you are sitting up straight, perched on your sit-bones, you will be better able to release any tension in your collarbones. The muscles that suspend the larynx also extend down into the ribs and collarbones. In fact, since the neck structures extend up into the head and down into the torso, can you see why we do not want to think of the voice as just a “neck thing?”

5. Now that you have a whole picture of your neck in freedom, you can drop your jaw, opening your mouth and allowing your tongue to ride with it Think of something funny to elicit a gentle smile. The smile will open up the back of your throat. With your tongue resting behind the lower teeth, exhale a quiet whisper, shaping the vowel “Ahh.”

6. You should be able to move your jaw freely up and down with your finger, as though the jaw is totally disengaged.

7. Return to the simple nodding of the head to erase any accidental habit of gripping that may have crept into your activity. Move the jaw with your finger. Smile. Avoid holding anything rigidly.

This is the essential attitude that you want as you move later into actual vocalization processes. Take these seven steps and see if you can apply them first in sitting, then standing, walking and even running! Different activity contacts will present different forces on the vocal system. Find out your individual quirks. They may lead you to the next level of positive self-awareness.

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Our Sons Speech Delay Matters!

When our youngest son Caleb was born we were filled with joy. We had been blessed with one son just 14 months prior. Now God had blessed us with a second son. He weighed 7 pounds 6 ounces. He had beautiful little hands and feet. He appeared perfect in our eyes.

When Caleb turned two years old, I began to worry about his speech. Caleb's older brother David talked very early. The pediatrician told us not to compare the boys. We were told that children do different things at different ages. Caleb seemed to be on track developmentally. So I put it out of my mind and focused on daily challenges.

On Caleb's third birthday we asked our pediatrician about Caleb's speech. We were sent to an audiologist for a hearing test. It showed that Caleb had mild hearing loss. We were told that Caleb had adequate hearing for speech. Again we were told that Caleb was normal and everything was fine. Caleb had an older brother that did all of his talking for him and for us not to worry. David would talk for Caleb. David was born to be an older brother. Caleb would just point and David would run get the item Caleb wanted and give it to him. All Caleb had to do was point and cry and David would take care of him.

A month after Caleb's third birthday we moved from Texas to the state of Washington. I dreaded the road trip from Texas to Washington State with a three year old and a four year old. In preparation for the road trip we bought a music cd with songs geared for children. After being in the truck for 5 days Caleb started singing along with the songs. It gave me some comfort seeing that Caleb was starting to sing a few words. However, I could not stop worrying about Caleb's speech.

When we arrived in Washington we found a pediatrician who recommended we get Caleb evaluated by a speech therapist. This would prove to be a devastating experience for our family. After a 30 minute evaluation we were told that Caleb was mentally retarded and would never learn to talk. We were also told that Caleb's future was non-existent as he would end up living in a group home. This broke my heart. I did not believe it. Something inside of me would not allow me to believe it. We saw this speech therapist for 3 months. These sessions would be very depressing. The speech therapist was very negative. Each session would be spent with the speech therapist telling me everything that Caleb could not do. It was very frustrating. One day I told the speech therapist that I was fully aware of what Caleb could not do and that we were paying her to show us what she could teach him. Our family came to the conclusion that she could not help us.

We were shocked that a thirty minute evaluation could permanently label a child. Thirty minutes is not enough time to figure out what a toddler wants for breakfast let alone his adult life. We observed Caleb's thirty minute speech evaluation. We had a lot of doubt about the evaluation process. How could anyone properly evaluate anyone's child in a thirty minute session? Especially since these evaluations will go on their medical records.

Caleb was uncooperative during the initial speech evaluation. We felt the evaluation was outdated and left no room for adjustments. In other words there was only one correct answer and only one correct answer.

For instance the speech therapist would show pictures to Caleb and ask him to tell them what they were. I remember the speech therapist showing Caleb a picture of a bald eagle. She asked Caleb what the picture looked like to him. He said “BRR” He was telling her bird. She wrote in her report that Caleb did not know what a bald eagle was. She said that bird was the wrong answer. She then went on to tell me how sad it is that Caleb did not have the vocabulary to identify a bald eagle.

During that time Caleb woke us up in the middle of the night crying. He seemed very sick. His eyes roled in the back of his head and he started shaking. At first we thought he was dying. It looked like he could not breathe. His lips turned blue and he was making gasing sounds. When he started foaming at the mouth and we realized he was having a seizure. My husband called 911 and paramedics arrived within five minutes. They allowed me to ride in the ambulance with Caleb to the hospital. We were told that Caleb had a fever induced seizure. This only caused me to have more sleepless nights worrying about Caleb's health.

In the meantime we fired Caleb's speech therapist. We needed someone that would fight for Caleb and try to teach him how to talk. We were getting very frustrated dealing with our health insurance over speech therapy. We discovered that most insurance plans will not pay for speech therapy. Often many insurance companies do not see the need for speech therapy. We were lucky that our insurance would pay for a determined amount of speech therapy sessions each year. These speech therapy sessions are at least $ 100 for a 30 minute session. So the average person can not afford it without help from the insurance company.

During this time we were wondering about how to find a speech therapist that would help Caleb. Caleb had another seizure. This time there was no fever. We were getting ready for church. Caleb was running all over the house playing. Next thing I remember was hearing a loud thump and when I turned around Caleb was on the floor having a seizure. When we went to the ER we were told that Caleb once again had a fever induced seizure. I took Caleb's temperature during his seizure and it was normal. So I really did not think it was a fever induced seizure. Two weeks later Caleb had another seizure. Again we were told that he had a fever induced seizure. It was hard to believe since he had no fever before, during, or after his seizure. We were told it was time to see a pediatric neurologist. We were very frustrated to learn there was a 6 month wait to get into a pediatric neurologist.

At this point we did not know what to think. We were very worried about Caleb's health. We were afraid to try another speech therapist. Our first experience was negative. We did not want our son slapped with a “label” and thrown in special education. So we ordered products over the internet that claimed to help kids with speech promises. We found a few things that helped. Caleb was approaching his fourth birthday. I realized that he needed help that I could not give him. We prayed about it and decided it was time to find a speech therapist.

After a lot of prayer we found a speech therapist on the internet. After an evaluation by Caleb's new speech therapist we were told that Caleb was a very bright child and with a lot of work would overtake this speech delay. This evaluation took three 45 minute sessions. I sacrificed as the speech therapist spoke to my husband and me. This speech therapist was a very kind person that worked very hard to help Caleb.

We learned to focus on small improvements and not to worry about what Caleb was not able to do. We were told to focus on each new thing that Caleb could do when it was big or small. Speech therapy is a very long and painful journey. We learned that Caleb had a gag disorder. When he put his tongue in certain positions to make sure sounds it would make him want to throw up. So we discovered that he was not even trying to make those sounds.

So occupational therapy was initiated with Caleb. This was also not easy. He would cry because it would bring him to the point where he would gag and occasionally throw up. Caleb learned that he was leaving off the beginning sounds as well as the ending sounds. With this realization he began to make a lot of progress. After months of intestinal speech therapy we were finally getting somewhere. It was a very long and painful process. Some days it seemed as if we were making progress and other days it was as if Caleb was right back at square one.

We decided to home school Caleb along with his older brother David. The public school was more interested in placing a retarded label on Caleb and putting him in special ed. This was not acceptable to me. I wanted someone that would believe in Caleb and work hard to help him achieve his goals. Within a short time of homeschooling, Caleb was reading, writing, and was very good at math. How could a child that learns so quickly be retarded? It made no sense to me. Public school teachers want children that are easy and require no extra work on their part. Caleb did require extra help. So all the public school teacher is trained to do is put the child in special ed and give them a label. Why would I want to put my child into an environment where people had already given up on him? Caleb is my child and nobody but God could love him more that his mother and father.

About a month after Caleb turned 5 years old he had another seizure. The pediatric neurologist told us that Caleb was healthy and would outgrow these seizures. I am thankful to say that Caleb is now 9 years old and has not had any more seizures. We will never forget them.

We were very sad to learn that Caleb's speech therapist was getting a new job. We had learned so much from her. Honestly we were afraid that we would not be able to find another speech therapist that would work with Caleb. When the new speech therapist met with us she evaluated Caleb. We were told that Caleb was five and a half years old and communicated on an 18 month old level. The new speech therapist again made the recommendation to us to put Caleb in public school special ed.

We disagreed with this evaluation. During the evaluation she showed Caleb a picture of a bird, a tree, and an airplane. She then asked Caleb to tell her which two pictures went best together. Caleb picked up the bird and the tree. He then told her that birds build nests in the trees. The therapist then turned to me and said that was the wrong answer. She wanted him to say bird and airplane because they fly. I explained to her that we have a bird that built a nest in the tree outside our kitchen window. Once again there is only one correct answer to these subjective evaluations. So we left that speech therapist and never went back.

It is wrong to give a child an evaluation and place a label on them. Children all develop at different ages. We have encountered a lot of criticism for our decision to not put our kids in a public school. Our children matter to us. We only have them for a short time. We do not have much time to give them what they need to be productive members of society. We felt that placing our children in public school would give them a bad start in life. We want our children to believe that with help from God they will be able to achieve their life goals. Placing Caleb in a public school where he is singled out as different in a bad way is not my idea of ​​giving him love and encouragement. The life long stigma that special ed gives a child with average intelligence is harmful.

We have learned so much watching our son struggle with this speech delay. Our son has taught us about patience and perseverance. We our amazing at the strength our son has shown us as he has over most of his speech delay. Could you imagine having a normal IQ but you were unable to communicate verbally with people. It may seem like a minor problem to most people. But it is devastating to the mother who wants her son to communicate with her. When my son was three how much I wished he could tell me what he wanted for lunch. But all that came out was “nuuum niiih wiiish.” It was like a foreign language.

If you suspect your child has a speech delay problem, you may be worried about what you should do. We have experienced this same anxiety and were not sure how best to handle it. The following steps are the route that helped us get to a point of what was right in our own path to helping our child's speech delay.
Make an appointment with your pediatrician to discus your concerns about your child's possible speech delay. The pediatrician will talk to you about your concerns and recommend speech therapy if a problem is suspected. Sometimes your health insurance will require a referral from your pediatrician. The main thing is to get your child properly evaluated.

Make sure you find a speech therapist that works well with your child. It will be unproductive if your child does not work well with the speech therapist. It is important that you sit in with your child during the initial speech evaluation. You can see the evaluation process and determine for yourself if it is an accurate evaluation of your child. Remember that you know your child better than anyone. Sometimes these valuations are not accurate due to a variety of reasons. For example you child may not have had a nap and may not be interested in the speech evaluation process. So it is a good idea to make an appointment time that works well for your child. Smaller children may have a more productive speech session in the morning.

Make sure that you have speech activities to work with your child at home on a daily basis. Music is a wonderful activity that reaches children in a special way. Get a music cd with kid songs and play it at night when they are going to sleep and in the car. Some kids will be able to sing a long while others may just be able to clap their hands or even hum along. Make daily activities a speech lesson. Talk to your child and explain to their daily activities like going to the store, bath time, cooking lunch, etc. Also it is a good idea to work with your child on their vocabulary. When you are at the dinner table you could hold up a fork and tell them what it is and what you do with it. It may seem silly but remember your child may not know the proper word for every item. It is a good idea to ask your speech therapist for homework. Your speech therapist will be able to tell you things you could be working on through out the week.

It can be very scary to have a child with a speech delay and make the choice to home school. Many families have faced the same challenge and were successful in working through their child's speech delay. This is the process that we have gone through and would recommend to you.

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Helping Your Child With Dyslexia

Dyslexia is a learning disability affecting many children today. The symptoms start to manifest in early childhood and progress even in adulthood. Typically, the patients show difficulty in reading, writing and spelling. Although there is a learning problem, many sufferers can still become successful in life. The earlier you initiate the treatment; the better the prognosis of the child will be. To understand the situation of dyslexics, here is information that will guide you in helping your children cope with it.

Cause

The learning disability originates from the injury of the brain and its inability to process information acquired from the eyes or letters. Although children can see the letters and hear sounds, they have difficulty translating them into understandable language. Experts point to the makeup of your family genes in the disorder of your child. If any of your family members had the problem in the past, you should not wonder why your kid is suffering from the illness. In other cases, it may be due to a traumatic injury on the brain during fetal development. The fetal origin is more common boys than girls.

Symptoms

Dyslexia is quite difficult to diagnoseose before your child enters school. If you notice difficulty in speaking and constructing sentences or late talking, then you might consider bringing your baby to a developmental pediatrician to diagnose the problem. When your child starts to attend regular classroom settings, the teacher will notice the learning disability. Your child will show problems in following instructions, trouble in remembering letters and their right sequences and difficulties in understanding basic commands. Typically, children showing these signs can also manifest behavioral problems due to their frustration in learning.

Complications

Although dyslexics can still live a normal life, the disorder can lead to low self- esteem, anxiety, aggression and alienation from other people. Since reading is a basic skill that affects most of the subjects, the child shows delayed learning. Typically, the severity of the complications depends on the degree of the disorder. Because of their low confidence, it is important that parents address the problem the soonest possible time to help their children cope with their situation.

Diagnosis

When you see any of the symptoms mentioned above in your child, it is best to consult professionals to initiate early treatment. Before you go to the doctor, you can write down all your apprehensions and your personal observations about the behavior. During your medical consultation, raise up all your concerns. Your doctor will make a series of tests to properly diagnose the learning disorder.

Treatment

The treatment for dyslexia involves a multi-sensory approach. The therapist will stimulate the different senses of the child through different learning activities. They will utilize an approach that will allow the child to hear, see, touch and experience the actual exercises. Since behavioral problems are part of the illness, attention is crucial for dyslexics. The whole treatment must include the parents and the people who interact with the child on a consistent basis.

With proper intervention and understanding, your child can surpass the disability and live a normal life.

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Recover From Stuttering – Lighten Up and Don’t Beat Yourself Up!

One of the reasons we stutterers have a hard time controlling our fluency is that many PWS constantly reinforce the negative self-perceptions. Ok, so we do not like our stutters, and we are going to do all we can get a handle on our problem. Being constantly negative and anxious about ourselves and our situations is not helping to heal anything, in fact, thinking in this way tend to reinforce the negative attitudes and feeds the anxiety that feeds the stutter. Try to lighten up!

Have you ever watched a movie where the local village idiot is portrayed as a stutterer who is directed to take on a stupid-is-as-stupid-does persona? It seems to be quite a common relationship that has been built up within society. The relationship between the disability of stuttering and reduced mental capacity has no foundation in reality whatever. This fact does not seem to reduce the occurrence of stuttering being used as a tool by many filmmakers simply to get a laugh.

I am the first person to admit that the scene in the movie A Fish Called Wanda where Ken (Michael Palin), who portrays a stutterer, is trying to explain where a key is located, is simply hysterical. As a stutterer myself, I felt sick from laughter and I secretly cave myself a kick up the backside for being amused. I really do understand that stuttering can look and sound amusing to people. In that case I knew the character of Ken was being depicted by an actor and the general setting of the scene, the lines stuttered and the situation that the character Ken was placed in, was to many, really funny. We have to be able to laugh at ourselves. I remember a night when members of the Australian Speak Easy Association (ASEA) were gathered at an annual camp. We were all relaxed sitting around after a meal discussing our stutters and situations in our past that had been truly traumatic. After hearing a few of the tragic stories we were all near rolling around on the floor in fits of laughter. The stories told were moments that, at the time, were truly and deeply embarrassing to the people relating the stories, and yet, as stutterers we were able to see the funny side of them.

It's important that we try to maintain our sense of humor regarding ourselves and not take ourselves too seriously.

Having said that, it would be refreshing for a movie or documentary maker to tell stories of stutterers, either living or passed, who have made real and positive differences in our society. Stuttering does not have to be a deterrent to success. Throughout history there have been many famous and successful people who stuttered.

Winston Churchill, for example, battled a stuttering problem all his life. Towards the end of his life he was known to have said, “My impediment is of no hindrance.”

The history of famous PWS can be traced all the way back to biblical times. Moses is believed to have been a person who stuttered. In the Koran 20: 26-29 Moses said, “Lord, open my breast, and do Thou ease for me my task, Unloose the knot upon my tongue, that they may understand my words.” The analogy of a knot upon his tongue relates to his stuttering.

Isaac Newton, well-known scientist who established the law of gravity, asked that the windows of Parliament be closed so the public would not hear his stuttering.

I could go on and on giving examples of famous people from historical times and the present day who have deal with their dysfluency in their own way and simply got on with their lives, and lived.

If you have a stutter, do not let it hold you back. If you hate your stutter, do something about it. You are the controller of your life. You can become master over your dysfluency. Recovery from stuttering can be rocky, but stick with it and dig in, have a sense of humor and enjoy yourself.

Join me on the road to fluency.

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How to Get Rid of Stuttering – This is How to Stop Stuttering Naturally at Home!

Stuttering occurs in approximately 5% of children and 1% of adults worldwide. It is a disorder where the sufferer repeats sounds, syllables or words, disrupting the normal flow of speech, so that he / she can not be well understood. The disorder often starts when children begin to talk. Most children lose the stutter when their brains grow, but for some of them the problem remains. The current treatments include psychotherapy (to reduce anxiety), speech therapy, breathing exercises and electronic devices.

This disorder has always been a medical mystery that has been attributed to various causes, mainly psychological and emotional problems that create nervousness and stress to the patient. Now US researchers claim that there is a biological cause behind this problem (at least for some people), and have discovered for the first time genetic mutations in three genes that are responsible for stuttering in humans. Due to the fact that the brain regions involved with speech require highly efficient metabolic systems, even the slightest mistake in protein production (due to a genetic mutation) may result in stuttering, according to research. The discovery links stuttering to disorders in the body's metabolism and can lead to new drug therapies. However it is estimated that only 9% of the cases are actually caused by gene mutations, which means that most people can actually treat this condition without using drugs.

Thousands of people out there have managed to overcome this problem and you would not even know that they used to suffer from this condition.

So, what can you do to get rid of this problem?

  • Reduce nervousness and anxiety: Do not think too much before you speak, because this will only make you more nervous and more likely to stutter. Anxiety is a major contributing factor to stammering. Children and adults with speech disabilities are much more likely to develop an anxiety disorder compared to people who do not stutter. It's very important to learn how to control physical anxiety and tension by using certain relaxation techniques. All stutterers actually have the ability to talk fluently. In a relaxed, low-stress state you can pronounce any word fluently. I'm sure that even if you're stutterer, there have been some situations where you felt completely relaxed and the problem simply went away.
  • Do not try to speak too quickly: The funny thing about stutterers is that that they are often smarter than average. Their minds tend to work too fast and their tongue simply can not catch up! This means that every time they make an attempt to speak they can not find the appropriate words to express their thoughts. Slowing down the rhythm of your speech can enable you to verbalize each word more effectively.

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