Home Health & Food Trauma can cause stuttering, speech problems –Experts

Trauma can cause stuttering, speech problems –Experts

by James Davies

Amarachi Okeh

Health experts have urged Nigerians who observed their loved ones have speech problems after suffering trauma to seek medical intervention.

According to the experts, sudden speech problems can be treated.

The experts stated that traumatic experiences, such as accidents can cause a person to develop stuttering.

The experts explained that while some people may develop stuttering due to genetics, the effect of a traumatic event can lead a person to start stuttering.

The experts, an Educational Psychologist, Olayinka Olusegun and Behavioural Therapist, David Akinlalu, however, noted that with the help of a speech therapist, stuttering can be corrected.

According to them, a child may have developmental stuttering which a child develops while learning a language but such cases of stuttering are normally outgrown between the ages of four and five.

According to Mayo Clinic, stuttering – also called stammering or childhood-onset fluency disorder – is a speech disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with normal fluency and flow of speech.

Mayo Clinic stated that stuttering is common among young children as a normal part of learning to speak. 

“Young children may stutter when their speech and language abilities aren’t developed enough to keep up with what they want to say. Most children outgrow this developmental stuttering,” it said.

But while speaking with PUNCH HealthWise, Olusegun warned that “If a child’s stuttering is becoming obvious and the child begins to have a secondary behaviour like blinking his eyes, jerking, hitting a spot when trying to speak, such a child would need the assistance of a speech therapist.”

Olusegun also stated that a child may unknowingly become a stutterer by mimicking a person with the speech condition, urging parents to pay attention to their children’s speech patterns.

“Sometimes a child may not be born with stammering but he has a peer in his class that stammers, so the child thinks it’s a way of life. The child then copied the stammering and he became a stammerer.

“So based on my experience, it is possible that when a child tries to mimic or copy another child, if care is not taken the child himself may develop stammering,” he said.

Akinlalu, who is a behavioural therapist, while speaking with PUNCH HealthWise stated that a person who stutters can successfully be treated but the success of the therapy is largely dependent on the person.

He added that persons who stutter could follow some simple speech principles like pausing, calming down, and picking one’s words as they speak to prevent them from getting choked during speech.

He also urged parents to pay attention to the stuttering of their children, advising that if a child does not outgrow the normal developmental stuttering at age five, such a child requires the assistance of a speech therapist.


Akinlalu, however, warned that stuttering does not go immediately when therapy starts.


“It is a gradual process. It is not something you can just overcome,” he advised.


“If the person can follow the principle strictly, it is treated but most times, it is not easy because people don’t follow the principle strictly. Whether it can be treated depends on the person,” he said.


While the causes of stuttering remain a mystery, Mayo Clinic noted factors that could cause stuttering to be either abnormalities in speech motor control or genetics.

Also, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also urged parents to see a speech therapist if their child’s stuttering has lasted for six – 12 months or more, the child starts to stutter late (after 3½ years old), the child starts to stutter more often, the child tenses up or struggles when talking, the child avoids talking or says it is too hard to talk or there is a family history of stuttering.

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