• Stuttering - Causes, symptoms and treatment. MF.

    Doctors define stutter as a speech disorder, which is characterized by frequent repetition of sounds, syllables, or words, and( or) frequent stops, indecision in speech tearing its rhythmic smooth flow.

    Causes of stuttering

    The American National Stammering Association draws an analogy between this disease and the tip of the iceberg, while the underwater invisible part of this iceberg is fears, guilt, anxiety, difficulties in establishing contact with people and loneliness, escape from the real world.

    Very often stuttering occurs in children aged 4-5 years, especially in boys. Usually it occurs against the background of a normal development of the child, but still most doctors believe that the main condition for stuttering is the organic damage to the child's brain( possibly during pregnancy or childbirth, as well as in early infancy), which may not give anyother symptoms and therefore remains unnoticed by both parents and doctors.

    In about 17% of patients, stuttering has the inherited nature of .

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    The cause of temporary stuttering can also be psychological trauma( for example, severe fright, family conflicts).Such a stammering is called psychogenic , and in almost 90% of children it passes to adolescence( provided that the psychotraumatic situation ceases).

    In addition to actually stuttering and parallel to it in children, it is often possible to identify other disorders in the mental state. For example, with stuttering due to the psychotraumatic situation, sleep disturbances, moods, fears, fatigue and irritability are possible, and as a consequence - behavioral or learning disabilities. In older children, the decline in academic performance can also occur due to the emergence of so-called social phobia - fear of public speaking. Such a child usually knows the material well, but when answering the board he will not be able to express his thoughts, get lost and get a low rating. Long-term social phobia and psycho-traumatic situations can lead to a change in the nature of the child - it will become unsociable, indecisive, withdrawn.

    When stuttering, due to organic brain damage or heredity, the psychotraumatic situations associated with the appearance of stuttering, it is usually not possible to identify. The neurologist at inspection of such child usually finds small deviations, on electroencephalogram also there will be changes. In the event of a stressful situation, stuttering may increase.

    If stuttering occurs, you need to contact a specialist to prevent more serious problems in adapting a child to adulthood in the future. The doctor( usually a pediatric psychoneurologist) conducts treatment in close cooperation with a speech therapist.

    Attempts to deal with the problem yourself are fraught with serious complications. It is difficult for parents to determine the type of stuttering, and with different forms of stuttering the treatment varies considerably. In addition, speech disorders in a child are possible and in the presence of more serious diseases( mental retardation, a child's version of schizophrenia, neuroses), which can be reliably excluded only by a specialist in child psychiatry.

    Examination of a child with stuttering

    Examination of a child with stuttering includes consultation of a neurologist, speech therapist, child psychoneurologist. Be sure to make an electroencephalogram. Sometimes a doctor may need a psychologist's examination, blood tests, and urine tests.

    Treatment of stuttering

    Treatment of a child with stuttering is closely related to the cause of this condition. If stuttering is not associated with a psychotraumatic situation, then prescribe nootropic drugs( for example, Phenibut), as well as remedies that relax the muscles( such as midolma).Admission of these drugs improves brain function and reduces the increased muscle tone involved in speech, which is often observed with this variant of the disease. Must visit a speech therapist.

    In the treatment of stuttering caused by a stressful situation, great importance is attached to psychotherapy. Basically, these are relaxing techniques( "silence mode", hypnosis), also various variants of family and group psychotherapy, auto-training are widely used. In the presence of sleep disorders, anxiety, mood disorders, it is possible to administer tranquilizers( often small doses of phenazepam), antidepressants( eg, imipramine).

    During treatment, it is necessary to strictly follow the doctor's prescriptions and report any changes in the condition. Some medications used to treat stuttering can be bought without a doctor's prescription( eg, phenibut, pyracetam and other nootropic drugs), but their use must be coordinated with a specialist in order to avoid unpleasant side effects in the form of headaches, insomnia, up to stuttering.

    Parents of children with stuttering should try to create a favorable family atmosphere, avoid revealing relationships in the presence of the child. It is necessary to ensure that the baby gets enough sleep, did not spend much time alone with the TV or computer. Modern TV shows contain a lot of negativity, computer games are often too harsh in content, and on the Internet there are a lot of sites, viewing which negatively affects the child's psyche. Parents should protect the child from such useless pastime and at the same time gently and unobtrusively stimulate him to communicate with peers, visit any circles in accordance with interests, which hinders social phobia, and she is so prone to stuttering children.

    Remember that without treatment, stuttering will not work, and curing stuttering in an adult is much more difficult than that of a child.

    After curing stuttering it is useful to keep in touch with the attending physician, at his invitation to come for preventive examinations. Often superfluous is further family psychotherapy, which helps to normalize relations between relatives, which is a good prevention of the resumption of psychogenic stuttering.

    Sometimes the parents of a stammering child, and adults suffering with this ailment, prefer to contact representatives of so-called folk or non-traditional medicine. Travniki use for the treatment of stuttering collections of flowers of calendula, lemon balm, birch leaves, St. John's wort and other plants. Used to restore speech function and aromatic oils - rosemary, pine, basil, sandalwood, rose, bergamot. However, folk medicine does not always have any effect, and excessive infatuation can bring significant health damage, because medicinal plants contain active substances that can cause allergies, essential oils can lead to headaches and sleep disorders. But as an additional method of treatment, approved by the doctor, herbal preparations can be useful.

    Complications of stammering

    Complications of stammering in children can be called neurotic disorders in adulthood. A child with a stammer often becomes an outcast among peers, worse learns with good intellectual abilities. This prevents him from adapting to the modern world, makes it unnecessarily dependent on his parents. Various psychic deviations develop successfully on such soil, ranging from various fears( except for the aforementioned social phobia, it is possible to develop claustrophobia-fear of confined spaces or, conversely, agoraphobia-fear of open areas) to anxiety disorders( panic attacks, anxiety neurosis).

    Sometimes there is a so-called pathological development of personality - i.e.the formation of such traits as the desire for loneliness, vulnerability, inability to manifest feelings and other characteristics of nature, significantly complicating everyday life. Timed cure stuttering gives the child the opportunity to form a fully-fledged person in a psychic sense and successfully build his life.

    Prevention of stuttering

    Prevention of psychogenic stuttering is the creation of a friendly family atmosphere, the proper organization of children's leisure( with fencing from viewing scary telecasts or computer games), the timely passage of medical examination with a neurologist's examination. Sufficient prevention of stuttering associated with organic brain damage is the protective mode of a pregnant woman, adherence to the recommendations of a gynecologist, which increases the chance of a favorable course of pregnancy and childbirth. And this, in turn, leads to a reduction in the risk of intrauterine damage to the nervous system of the fetus and birth trauma in the child.

    Parents can do a lot for the health of their children. The problem of stuttering can be solved if you do not get discouraged and enlist the support of specialists.

    Doctor psychiatrist Bochkareva OS