"My talking is bumpy."
"The words get stuck."
"My tongue stumbles."
"My brain goes faster than my mouth."
These are some of the things that kids say when they describe how it
feels to stutter. In other words, they know what they want to say, but
the words just don't come out smoothly. For kids who have other kinds of
speaking problems, certain sounds are difficult. Correctly saying a
letter like "s" or "r" might be their challenge. These may be the kinds
of problems that you or a friend or classmate has with speaking.
whatever the speech problem, there is help available. Just like in
sports, there are skills you can learn and practice. Then, whether it's
going for the lay-up or reading aloud in class, you'll be able to face
the situation with more confidence! Keep reading to learn about
stuttering and speech problems, how they are treated, what kids who have
them can do, and more.
What Are Stuttering and Speech Problems?
As human beings, we have the special ability to share our thoughts by
talking. We start by forming a thought in our
brains. In the brain, this thought is changed into a code we've
learned called language. (Depending on where you're from, this language
could be English, Spanish, Japanese, or one of thousands of others.)
Finally, the brain sends a message to the
muscles, telling them to move and make the right sounds come out.
Then the mouth, face, neck,
tongue, and throat muscles move into motion.
Sometimes this process doesn't work perfectly, though. There might be
an interruption or break in the flow of speech. This interruption is
called a disfluency (say: dis-floo-en-see).
Now and then, everyone has trouble getting words out. It's normal to
stumble over a word or two every once in a while.
Disfluency becomes a
speech problem, though, when it gets in the way of everyday talking and
is noticeable to other people. It can make it hard to get thoughts out.
It can also cause a lot of embarrassment or frustration for the person
Stuttering and lisping are types of speech problems. Kids who stutter
will repeat a word or a sound or drag out part of a word. Kids who lisp
have trouble saying either their "s's" or their "z's" correctly.