Medications do not fall under the treatment options for stuttering.. Stuttering may be treated at home with a speech-language pathologist or as part of an intensive program.
Currently, there are no medications, which can cure the disease. Several medications have been tried for stuttering, but until now, no drugs have been shown to be effective in controlling the problem. A number of treatment approaches are used for treating stuttering. Stuttering may be treated at home, with a speech-language pathologist or as part of an intensive program. In many cases, more than one treatment approach is used.
Treatment approaches for stuttering include:
- Controlled fluency: In this type of speech therapy, the person is taught to speak slowly and learn to notice when stuttering starts. In the initial stages of treatment, you may speak very slowly and deliberately to overcome or reduce stuttering and as you improve over time, you can work to talk with a more natural speech pattern.
- Electronic devices: Many electronic devices have been developed to help people, who stutter. They use one of a few methods observed to be effective in reducing stuttering. In the delayed auditory feedback method, you are taught to slow your speech or the speech will sound distorted through the machine. Another method mimics your speech so that when you talk, it sounds as if it’s through the machine or as if you are talking in unison with another person. Some of these electronic devices have to be worn throughout the day while doing the daily activities. For example, some are worn like a hearing aid whereas some others are worn like a headphone connected to a small box that can be carried in a pocket.
- Cognitive behavioural therapy: This is a type of psychological therapy where you are taught to identify and change ways of thinking that might make stuttering worse. This therapy can be helpful to treat underlying stress, anxiety or self-esteem problems related to stuttering.
- Parental involvement: This is a major part in the treatment of any child with stuttering. For example, parents can help the child to learn to speak slowly and praise the child for speaking fluently.
Intensive treatments for adults, who stutter, include:
Treatment at a hospital or clinic: During this type of treatment, you have to attend sessions to manage stuttering with a healthcare professional from about one to four hours a week over a period of several weeks to months.
Intensive programs: According to some experts, intensive program is the most effective approach for treatment of stuttering. Intensive treatment programs are usually two to four weeks in duration and may involve 30 to 100 hours of treatment. Intensive treatment includes a combination of approaches to treat stuttering such as exercises to reduce stuttering, practice speaking in groups and learn ways to manage stress and anxiety because of stuttering.
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