By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Have you ever heard someone speak with a stutter? It’s as if they can’t find the words to say what they’re thinking, because they often repeat different words and sounds several times. According to past research, about 5% of children in preschool are affected by this speech disorder. That’s not too many, right? Well, a new study from a Murdoch Children’s Research Institute has found that the rates are actually double. The researchers tested 1,600 kids from newborns to 4-year olds and found about 11% suffered from the speech disorder!
While this may sound like terrible news, there are some silver linings to the dark clouds. Children who stutter are often more advanced than their peers, so parents won’t have to worry about the disorder interfering with their school work. “Parents can be reassured that developmental stuttering is not associated with poorer outcome in the preschool years at least,” said Professor Sheena Reilly, the leader of the study. Furthermore, stuttering doesn’t last a lifetime either. According to Reilly, many children can and will outgrow their stutter, without any trauma or mental health problems! “Some children seem to grow out of their stuttering or to get better naturally, others get better with treatment,” she said. The professor recommends that parents wait at least a year before they take their stuttering child to a speech specialist.
Images courtesy of audio luci store on Flickr.