Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects how someone says words and sounds. It can cause problems with saying words and phrases correctly, fluency, and talking too slow or too fast. There are around 3 to 5 million people in the United States who are affected by a stutter. This condition can be hindering and frustrating to the stutterer and the people with them.
Stuttering: Causes and Symptoms
The cause of stuttering or stammering is not yet known but a common misconception is that it is due to childhood trauma. Even people who know a lot about it can’t tell you the exact thing in a child’s make-up that makes him stutter. However, many people have figured out what seems to trigger the condition. According to a study conducted by Pace University, psychological trauma and stress are indicators of stuttering. A long-term speech disability on the other hand may be due to traumatic brain injury.
Stuttering symptoms range from mild to severe. In stuttering, a block or disruption occurs in the normal fluency of speech. People who stutter may also have involuntary physical activities such as eye blinking, head bobbing or facial contortions.
What Causes Stuttering? Mayo Clinic
A Mayo Clinic study involved two groups of children. The first group received music lessons, while the second did not. The study found that the group who received music lessons experienced a decrease in stuttering, lending support to the idea that stuttering might have an association with speech sound disorder.
Types of Stuttering
Stuttering is a speech disorder that involves disruptions in the flow of speech. There are three different types of stuttering:
Developmental stuttering is one that is most common among male children younger than 5 years old. It occurs as they develop their speech and language abilities and usually resolves without treatment.
Neurogenic stuttering is a type that signals abnormalities between the brain and nerves or muscles.
Psychogenic stuttering originates in the part of the brain that governs thinking and reasoning.
Four types of treatment are used; speech therapy, electronic device, cognitive behavioural therapy, and parent-child interaction.
Speech Therapy - This teaches you to slow down your speech and learn to notice when you stutter. Over time, this helps to have a natural speech pattern.
Electronic Device - Several devices are available to enhance speech fluency such as delayed auditory feedback. This requires you to talk slowly or the sound becomes distorted through the machine.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - This type of therapy helps resolve stress, anxiety or self-esteem problems related to stuttering by helping the stutterer learn to identify and change ways of thinking that makes his stuttering worse.
Parent-child interaction - Involvement of the parents in practicing techniques at home with the guidance of a speech-language pathologist is necessary to help the child cope with stuttering.
A commonly-held view is that stuttering results from anxiety and is a behavior problem, but much recent research has shown that this is incorrect. Parents should be aware that stuttering can be a condition that improves with age. More often, a stutterer takes comfort in a therapist who's facing the same speech disorder. Soon, both are working toward a cure.
Stuttering Myths Disorders
There are no drugs specifically approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of stuttering, but many are in use.