This week is National Stuttering Awareness Week in the United States, specifically from May 10 – May 16, 2010. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed it, as such in 1988.
Stuttering can make it difficult to communicate with other people, and often affects a person’s quality of life. Roughly three million Americans stutter. Researchers around the world are exploring ways to improve the early identification and treatment of stuttering and to identify its causes.
Nearly 5 percent of all children go through some period of stuttering. Children ages 2–5 are affected the most. There are four factors most likely to contribute to the development of stuttering in children:
- Genetics (approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who does also)
- Child development (children developmental delays are more likely to stutter)
- Neurophysiology (differences in brain development)
- Family dynamics (high expectations and stress or pressure to talk can contribute to stuttering).
If a child has any of these risk factors and is showing some or all of the warning signs, a parent should be more concerned and seek a screening or evaluation from a speech-language pathologist who works with children or specializes in stuttering. The speech-language pathologist will decide whether the child is stuttering, and then determine whether to wait a bit longer or begin treatment right away.
The Parish School is the only school in Houston, public or private, which offers a multi-age, language-based, developmental curriculum for children 18 months through fifth grade. Children served have communication and learning differences, but average to above average learning potential. These differences may include problems with speech/language, learning to read, focusing attention, visual motor areas, social skills, and auditory processing.
The Parish School utilizes a classroom based therapy program implemented by certified teachers and speech/language pathologists. Classroom ratios are low and treatment/education plans are individualized to maximize the success of each child. The state-of-the-art facilities include parent/therapist-viewing areas, built in assisted listening devices, play and picnic areas, gardens and large, bright classrooms. The creative and visual arts play a large role in the academic program and incorporate the focus on expressive, receptive and pragmatic language skills while giving children a creative outlet in which to express themselves.
Individual therapies and testing including speech, occupational therapy, social skills groups and family therapy are available through their on site clinic, the Carruth Center.
To support The Parish School, please visit: http://www.parishschool.org/