Speech Therapy

Speech therapy .. Stuttering .. Children .. more

The Economist had an interesting article on speech therapy, inspired by the movie ‘the king’s speech’… It discusses historical approaches to the problem, including blaming it on dryness of the tongue (In the second century – Galen), or on a stiff tongue (In the 17th, Francis Bacon reckoned), or In the 19th, surgeons suggested too large a tongue. In the 20th, parental neglect and even an unfulfilled urge for oral sex were considered (the movie itself stresses psychology). The suggested remedies were just as diverse: Galen : wrapping the patient’s tongue in a cloth soaked in lettuce juice , Bacon recommended wine. The Victorians wielded scalpels. The psychiatrists, the couch.

Regarding treating stuttering / stammering with children, there are different recommendations. Many sources argue that stuttering with children should be fought be providing a relaxed home environment that allows many opportunities for the child to speak. This includes setting aside time to talk to one another, especially in the times of excitement, and when a child and has a lot to say. Negativity when a child stutters doesn’t reduce the problem but aggravates it. parents should react to the stuttering with gentle corrections and praise and positive enforcement whenever possible. Parents should also be less demanding on their children to speak in a certain way or to perform verbally for people.

Also, Speaking in a slightly slowed and relaxed manner can help reduce time pressures. Attentive and engaged listening, and not trying to finish the child’s sentences also helps. In addition, help the child learn that a person can communicate successfully even when stuttering occurs.

there are also anti-stuttering gadgets that stop stuttering and enable ‘a smooth speech’

These days, many arguments about stuttering seem to be taking the direction of brain anatomy and genes!!! Luc De Nil (Toronto Uni) found that parts of the brain linked to the production of speech are more active in stutterers than non-stutterers, while those involved in perceiving sounds are less so. Brains of Stutterers tend to have more densely packed grey matter in the areas associated with processing and producing sounds. so … are those causes are genetic or environmental ?

Dennis Drayna of America’s National Institutes of Health: stuttering is at least partly a matter of genes and It runs in families!! Studies of twins suggest a genetic component larger than those involved in high cholesterol and osteoporosis.

Dr Drayna’s analysis suggests that stuttering is linked to mutation of a gene calledGNPTAB—In January Dr Drayna and his colleagues published a paper in the Journal of Human Genetics tracing the responsible mutation (of people in the study sample) back almost 600 generations, to a common ancestor who would have lived around 14,000 years ago.

Another study of South Asians indicated that mutations in two other genes, GNPTG andNAGPA, are found in individuals who stutter, but not in non-stutterers.

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