What is stuttering?
Stuttering is a communication disorder in 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.
What causes stuttering?
There are four factors most likely to contribute to the development of stuttering: genetics (approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who does also); child development (children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter); neurophysiology (recent research has shown that people who stutter process speech and language in different areas of the brain than those who do not stutter); and family dynamics (high expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can contribute to stuttering). Stuttering may occur when a combination of factors comes together; stuttering may have different causes in different people. What causes stuttering may differ from what makes it continue or get worse.
How many people stutter?
Over 300,000 Canadians and three million Americans stutter; approximately 1% of the population.
What is the ratio of males to females who stutter?
Stuttering affects four times as many males as females.
How many children stutter?
Some 20 percent of all children go through a stage in their speech development during which they encounter dysfluencies severe enough to be a concern to their parents. The best prevention tool is early intervention.
Is stuttering caused by emotional or psychological problems?
Children and adults who stutter are no more likely to have psychological or emotional problems than children and adults who do not. There is no reason to believe that emotional trauma causes stuttering.
I read about a new cure for stuttering. Is there such a thing?
There are no instant miracle cures for stuttering. Therapy, electronic devices, and even drugs are not an overnight process. However, a specialist in stuttering can help not only children but also teenagers, young adults and even older adults make significant progress toward fluency.