Stuttering is a communication disorder of which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak.
About five percent of all children will go through a stage of developmental stuttering. This period of stuttering consists of easy repetitions without tension or signs of struggling. Most dysfluencies are only two or three repetitions in length and most of the time the child will appear unaware of the stuttering and will continue talking without signs of distress.
75 percent of these children will begin to spontaneously recover from normal dysfluencies after approximately six months. At the six-month mark you will want to note if your child’s speech is improving, staying the same or getting more difficult for them.
If you are worried about your child’s dysfluency consider these factors when deciding if it is time to talk with your child’s doctor or a speech language pathologist:
- Is your child a boy? 4x more boys stutter than girls.
- Is there a family history of stuttering? If yes, it is more likely your child may need skilled intervention.
- Has the dysfluent speech lasted longer than six months? If your child’s speech has not improved or has become more dysfluent, your child may need skilled intervention.
- Is your child aware of the stuttering? A child who stops talking, avoids words, abandons a message or verbalizes talking being difficult is more likely to need skilled intervention.
- Do you see increased facial or body movements when your child is stuttering? If you are noticing increased eye blinking, head nodding, facial tension, hand or foot tapping it is more likely your child may need skilled intervention.
Answering “yes” to two or more of these questions indicates it is time to talk to your child’s pediatrician about next steps. Continue Reading »
At 18 months of age your toddler is exploring his/her world and learning so many new things. Here are some of the typical speech and language milestones that indicate your child is progressing in language development.
- Uses 10-15 different words
- Uses words to have needs met (“more, up, eat”)
- Understands and uses the names of five different familiar objects
- Imitates sounds and words spontaneously
- Starts to combine two words (“all done, up mama”)
- Uses real words intermixed with babbling
- Hums along with familiar children’s songs
- Imitates words and word combinations with a model
- Recognizes pictures of family members and familiar objects
- Points or uses gestures to get your attention or make requests for objects/actions
- Retrieves a known object from another room upon request (“go get your blanket”)
- Follows simple commands
- Points to body parts when asked
- Develops a play routine (baby doll, kitchen play, car play)
- Enjoys looking at books and will turn pages a few at a time
Continue Reading »
Teens are notorious for being moody, but there’s a difference between typical teenage emotions and depression. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 2.6 million U.S. adolescents ages 12 to 17 had at least one major depressive episode in 2013. Depression in teens can lead to unhealthy coping behaviors, resulting in problems at school, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, self-harm, and reckless behavior. These issues are often a cry for help, and by knowing the signs of depression in teens; parents, teachers and other caregivers can identify teens who would benefit from professional attention.
Signs of depression in teens
Did you know that symptoms of depression can be different in teens than in adults? Be on the lookout for:
- Irritable or angry mood for most days in a week, for at least two weeks. Outbursts of hostility are often the predominant mood in depressed teens, as opposed to sadness.
- Unexplainable physical aches and pains. If a teen is complaining of symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches but a physical exam doesn’t show a cause, this could be a sign of depression.
- Withdrawing and/or changing social groups. Unlike adults, often teens with depression will not isolate themselves completely, but may pull away from those that know them well and begin socializing with peers who don’t question the change in their behavior or mood.
Other signs of depression are more similar in both teens and adults. These include:
- Lost of interest in things that used to be enjoyable.
- Change in sleeping or eating habits.
- Irrational fears or worries.
- Very low energy and motivation.
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness or guilt.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Thoughts of suicide.
If a teen is expressing thoughts of suicide, it is imperative that he or she be evaluated by a mental health professional immediately. If a teen is showing several of these signs, the best thing an adult can do is be supportive in getting him or her medical attention. Continue Reading »
Community-based suicide prevention coalitions work to reduce suicides in our communities. The big question is, “By how much should we reduce our suicide rate?” Should we reduce our rates by 10 percent? Or perhaps 20 percent? The answer that many in this field would tell you is, “By 100 percent!” Our goal is to have a zero suicide community. Others have done it; so can we. But we need your help.
In order to achieve a zero suicide goal we need everyone in the community to realize that each resident can help save a life. Much like many have received CPR training, by exercising what the three letters in QPR stand for, someone in our community can save a life. After all, suicide affects everyone in our community.
QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer, and is the best practice training approach for suicide prevention (https://www.qprinstitute.com/). QPR is a program in which any individual can be trained to learn how to recognize signs of suicide and be able to intervene. Anyone can be trained in QPR and potentially save a life.
A free community QPR training (open to any community member age 18 or older) will be held on Monday, Sept. 28, 2015 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Chilton High School in Calumet County. Because space is limited we are asking interested individuals to register. To register, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (920) 931-2552 with questions. Continue Reading »