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Family Support Can Improve Stuttering

By HERWriter
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Stuttering is a communication or speech disorder that affects over 3 million people in the United States. People who stutter repeat sounds and may also experience stoppages when they are suddenly unable to complete a sound or syllable. Stuttering is also called stammering.

Stuttering affects the flow of speech. People who stutter may do one of these things when speaking:

• Make words sound longer than they should (llllllike this)
• Repeat words or parts of words (li-li-li-like this)

• Have a hard time starting a new word
• Have prolonged pauses while speaking
• Show other behaviors indicating stress when trying to speak, such as rapid blinking, or trembling of the lips or jaw

Stuttering Indicators
Stuttering can affect people of all ages. Certain situations may make stuttering more severe, such as speaking in public, feeling stressed about speaking to a group, or talking on the telephone. Some people find that they stutter less while singing, reading aloud, or speaking in unison with other people.

Stuttering is most commonly seen in children between the ages of 2 and 5 years who are still learning to speak. Some scientists believe children may stutter when their ability to speak cannot keep up with their verbal demands. Although the exact reasons for stuttering are not understood, there are four factors commonly seen in people who stutter:

Genetics – Children are more likely to stutter if someone else in the family also stutters.
Child development – Children with developmental delays or other speech and language problems are more likely to stutter.
Neurophysiology – Studies show that people who stutter use different parts of the brain to process speech and language than people who don’t stutter.
Family dynamics – A fast-paced lifestyle that demands quick responses may contribute to stuttering in children.

Approximately 5 percent of children stutter for six months or more as they are learning to talk. Boys are more than twice as likely to stutter as girls.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This is a wonderful article. I am a speech pathologist and person who stutters. I specialize in stuttering therapy. It is great to see stuttering education publicized. I have a blog on my website: www.longislandstuttering.com (you can click on the journey).

February 1, 2010 - 4:58pm
EmpowHER Guest

It is important that a family be supportive when a child is going through speech therapy. The worst thing that can happen is if a parent criticizes or scolds a child for stuttering.
The best resource in my opinion is the Stuttering Foundation (www.stutteringhelp.org). They offer a world of free resources, in addition to their books and DVDs which are used around the world and translated into many languages. There is a Spanish-language version of their website at www.tartamudez.org. The website of this nonprofit organization also has a pamphlet called "Special Education Law and Stuttering" which details how every child in the U.S. is guaranteed the right to free speech therapy from pre-school through high school. This benefit of free speech therapy covers all speech problems and not just stuttering.
It is imperative that a child who shows signs of stuttering get speech therapy as early as possible.

January 29, 2010 - 3:54pm

Great article, I work with someone who stutters and I get so upset when people make fun of him mainly because I just think it's plain mean to make fun of someone for something they can't avoid. I'm not sure what kind of therapy was available to him as a child, since he is well past 50 but at this point he probably wouldn't bother with it anyway.

I really enjoyed reading about the causes of stammering/stuttering as I knew very little about it before. Thanks again.

January 28, 2010 - 1:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

hi, i study psycology in iran and spesialist solve stutter problem.i can help people have stammering .see you for help
[Personal email removed by Moderator]

January 28, 2010 - 4:27am

Good article. It sure is great that you gave people a link to the Stuttering Foundation's web site, too. They have marvelous resources. Just knowing what to do and when to contact a speech therapist if a child starts stuttering makes a world of difference. Now, if every teacher were required to know what to do in the classroom to help kids, that would really be great.

January 26, 2010 - 8:23pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.