Stammering, also known as stuttering, refers to a condition brought about by physiological factors in children. The reasons children stammer include neuromuscular complications, incapability to control speech organs muscles, difficultly in moving the lips and the tongue, and obstruction within the speech organs. If stammering takes place at an advanced age, psychological factors such as, a tense family atmosphere, arousal, anxiety, scorn and loss of confidence are the likely causes.
One of the effective ways of reducing stammering in children is the use of exercises. The exercises work by providing strength to speech organs like the lungs, tongue, trachea, lips and the jaw. These exercises either cure stammering completely or lower the intensity considerably. They are better off carried out at night before retiring to bed in a secluded part of the house. Here are a number of top exercise regimens that will reduce stammering in children.
Loud Vowel Pronouncement
Clearly and audibly the child should be asked to pronounce each of the vowels beginning from A through to E, I, O and U. The child should be very articulate while pronouncing the vowels. He/she can also distort the face while uttering the vowel sounds.
Children who stammer should also be taught how to pause. The idea is to teach a child to pause while uttering a sentence by pausing after the first word within the sentence followed by pauses after 2-3 words. This exercise, taught at least once a day requires that children are taught how to pause always after a few words in contrast with pausing at the centre of a given word. In the process, a child learns how to decrease stuttering, relax and remain comfortable.
Ask the child to open the jaw wide, as much as possible without exerting themselves too hard. Ask him/her to hold that position and lift the tongue towards the roof of the mouth using the tongues tip. The child should continue touching the roof of the mouth using the tip of the tongue and move the tip towards the back of the mouth. After the tongue has been stretched to the maximum without any pain, ask the child to hold the position for a couple of seconds. Ask the child to pull the tongue out of the mouth as if trying to reach his/her chin by stretching the tongue downwards and holding this position for a couple of seconds. Four to five reps of the exercise every night will bring great results.
Drink Through a Straw Technique
Drinking through a straw is one of the oral exercises that help to deal with stammering. This is because drinking this way demands that the tongue remain in a strategic position that is highly important for speech. Snip off the end of a straw to decrease the size slowly after every couple of days. If your child has a stammering problem or speech challenges, pacifiers should never be used. As the child continues drinking from a straw, stammering should decrease as well.
You can also encourage the child to stop breathing from his/her chest but from the belly. As the child breathes from his belly, muscle and nervous tensions are calmed down, relaxing the entire body.