What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a defect of speech whereby the person’s normal patterns are interrupted by steadily repeating or drawing out certain sounds, syllables and words. Occasionally, this makes it almost impossible to even begin a sentence.

Apart from trouble talking, this affliction is commonly accompanied by raid eye blinks, quaking of the lips or jaw and upper torso. Tension causes the situation to become even worse when the person is called to address a large crowd or speak on the telephone. Nevertheless, this can change when one is either singing or speaking aloud with no one else around.

Such a disorder is also known as stammering. Please be clear that this is dissimilar to other speech impediments, such as cluttering or spasmodic dysphonia to name but two.

Reports indicate that upwards of three million Americans stutter. This typically starts around the age of two to six, about the time they’re still building up their language skills. This ratio of boy stutterers to girl stutterers is nearly three to one. The favorable news is that many children outgrow this with only the smallest percentage of sufferers continuing into adulthood.

To prove a point, some of the world’s best speakers stuttered as children, including Bruce Willis, Carly Simon, James Earl Jones and Mel Tillis. Yes, it’s difficult to believe, but each one of these people overcame this challenge.

But what induces people to stutter? There are many forms of stuttering. Some scientists believe it’s genetic but not developmental. Other people contend that it’s neurogenic whereby signal problems between brain and nerves cause this phenomenon. Because of this, the brain is unable to properly coordinate different speech components. A stroke or other form of brain injury can also cause this to happen.

Stuttering might even originate in one’s mind, what is known as “psychogenic”, though this only accounts for the smallest number of sufferers.

The best person to diagnose a stutterer is a speech language pathologist (SLP), even if the impediment is quite obvious by the way you speak. An SLP is trained to carry on an assortment of tests making it somewhat easier to prescribe suitable treatment.

Presently, there is no ready remedy for stuttering. Treatment only improves the person’s condition given that the majority of stutterers are “behavioral” in nature

The majority of treatments are intended to help the patient monitor the rate at which they speak. They will additionally learn to speak words slowly, commonly short phrases initially until such time they are able to speak longer sentences much faster. Follow up sessions are necessary to preclude a relapse, potentially making this a life long problem.

Apart from the patient, one’s parents should likewise be educated to know what to do when their child stutters. It’s in everyone’s best interests to provide a laid-back home environment where the child is allowed to speak his or her mind. Should the child stutter, parents must abstain from criticism for fear of causing a more negative impact. Parents can even assist by talking slowly, in a relaxed manner that can be easily followed and understood.

A few medical professionals utilize medications and electric shock therapy to treat stuttering. Regrettably, using drugs many times causes side effects and electric shock therapy should only be considered for use in the most extreme cases. That said, rest assured that the medical field takes stuttering very seriously and is working diligently to minimize the affects on the afflicted.