ibnlive » Health

Mar 22, 2011 at 10:44am IST

Speech therapy can help overcome stutter

New Delhi: The big winner at the Academy Awards this year, 'The King's Speech', has drawn everyone's attention to the emotional struggles of people who suffer from Speech ailments.

Speech therapy can go a long way in improving their life.

Nothing can stop five-year-old Krishna from being a chatter box! Not the fact that he was born deaf and now needs to wear a cochlear implant/hearing aid nor even the stutter, his parents noticed a year and a half ago.

"We did not make him aware that he has a speech problem, because then he will lose his confidence and stop talking," said Nisha Aggarwal, Krishna's mother.

His stammer is aggravated by stress. In fact, boys are twice as likely to stutter as girls. Studies show that it usually starts between 2 - 5 years of age, though nearly 80 per cent of children outgrow it. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year found stuttering could be linked to defects in three genes.

Unfortunately, living with a speech problem also means learning how to deal with teasing. It's important for parents to make the child realize that they can communicate successfully even when stuttering occurs.

"It's not a disease or any pathology in the body, it's a disorder. So we have to treat them psychologically. For rehabilitation in adults there are techniques for their speech to become better and in children we have to be indirect in giving therapy," said Niveeta Narayan, Audiological Consultant.

Those who don't outgrow their stammer by the age of five to six are recommended certain strategies like those in the Oscar winning movie 'The King's Speech'.

While Krishna's parents still hope he'll overcome his stutter, speech therapy is making a huge difference.