Can Stuttering be cured medically?

If you’re looking for a magic pill that will cure your stuttering, then let me tell you plain and simple, there is no known cure. But wait, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do to improve your condition. On the contrary, there are several ways that you can use to manage it, and reduce the number of disfluencies in your speech.

Can Stuttering be cured medically

What’s the real deal?

People often look for swift and easy solutions to their problems, whether it’s losing weight or enhancing fitness. But as you all know, if you want lasting results, you will need to put in a lot of work. And with the right regimen and unwavering dedication, you can achieve anything.

And stuttering is no different.

Several treatments have proven to be quite effective. Research indicates that many factors influence stuttering, including a combination of genetic and environmental reasons. Moreover, young children who experience this condition for a short period have a high rate of natural recovery. However, there is no way to calculate which ones will recover or when.

A variety of treatments are available to help individuals who stutter. Options include:

  • Speech therapy to alter speech patterns and improve fluency.
  • Cognitive behavior therapy and counseling to minimize as well as manage negative emotions such as anxiety or stress.
  • Self-help and support groups to connect with others in the same boat, to acquire additional resources, and learn about effective strategies to manage the condition. 
  • Incorporation of electronic devices and apps to manage speech patterns and improve fluency.

People often take on a combination of approaches to obtain the best results. Continuous efforts have shown to create positive changes in speech skills and communication abilities. So, even if the stutter remains, the person is often in a more comfortable and confident zone than before. 

How can stuttering be treated medically?

People tend to stammer more when stressed or anxious. Some doctors are keen to prescribe anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs to help the situation. However, the FDA has not approved any medication for the treatment of stuttering. Moreover, the side effects of some of these drugs make them difficult to use for long periods.

The best option at the moment is therapy. And it’s proving to be quite beneficial for many. But just like any other speech disorder, individuals need to practice techniques to treat and manage stuttering consistently. And while some people are ‘cured’, others might have a relapse later on in life, or continue to stutter their entire lives.

The nature of the treatment differs depending upon a person’s age, communication goals, and other factors. Let’s look at some of the various ways of curing stuttering issues with respect to age.

Therapy for children

Approximately 10% of children develop a stutter. Sometimes a child can suddenly start stuttering for no apparent reason. Initially, adults must look into underlying causes as to what initiated the stutter and resolve the issue. For instance, is the child undergoing undue stress because of a tense household environment, or is the child being bullied? But many times, preschool children naturally stop stuttering without even needing therapy.

By focussing on improving speech fluency and developing positive attitudes toward communication, the child can learn and adapt rather quickly. Parents and caregivers must be on board 100%. The child will need continuous help, support, and guidance. 

The followings should be implemented:

  • Create opportunities for the child to speak in a relaxed environment.
  • Set aside one-on-one time to listen attentively to the child.
  • Do not complete the sentence for the child. Wait for them to do it at their own pace.
  • Avoid interrupting or correcting- focus on the content instead.
  • Offer praise rather than criticism.
  • Children mimic adults, so speak in a slow, relaxed manner.
  • Help reduce the level of stress that the child may be experiencing.

If a child continues to stutter for 3 to 6 months, has a genetic predisposition to the condition, or exhibits struggle behaviors associated with stuttering, therapy should be considered. For young children, the earlier the treatment starts, the better the results. 

Therapy for pre-teens and teens

Pre-teens or teens who stutter have most likely stuttered before. The current condition could be due to communication-related anxiety or confidence issues. To prevent them from regressing into social isolation or avoiding situations where speaking is required, available therapy options should be discussed with them.

For many, practicing mindfulness is a simple yet effective way to put the mind at ease. Techniques include speaking more slowly, regulating breathing, and gradually progressing responses from single-syllable words to longer words and phrases.

Moreover, the current generation is fascinated with gadgets and mobile devices. There are several available tools that are helping youngsters cope with speech impediments. 

Joining self-help and support groups can be quite beneficial at this sensitive age. In fact, interacting with other children who are the same age and also stutter, boosts their morale. It lets them realize that they are not alone facing speech disorders such as stuttering. 

Therapy for adults

The National Institutes of Health states that a sudden onset of stuttering could be caused by various factors, such as brain trauma, stroke, epilepsy, drug abuse, chronic depression, etc.

But typically, adults who stutter have most likely been dealing with stuttering all their lives. Often, the degree of stutter may vary from time to time. But a combination of therapies listed above can prove to be helpful. 

Additionally, adults are more able to control speech patterns than children can. They can, therefore, concentrate on avoiding trigger words and use suitable alternatives instead.

They can also make efforts to relax their minds and overcome negative emotions consciously. More importantly, taking a few moments to collect their thoughts before speaking and pausing between phrases can help slow down speech and circumvent difficult situations.

Above all, individuals dealing with adulthood stuttering need to understand that the disorder has nothing to with mental acumen. Many times, merely feeling comfortable or confident can help people to speak more easily and fluently. 

Final thoughts

Therapies can help individuals manage stuttering. Learning strategies that minimize stuttering early on can facilitate talking with more ease.

So get ready and take the reins in your hands. Don’t let stuttering impact your ability to communicate confidently or the quality of your life.

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