Stuttering is a speech disorder that affects three million adults in the United States. Therefore stuttering information is important to this segment of the population.
Facts About Stuttering:
- Stuttering is a disruption in the normal flow of speaking characterized by repetitions, or prolongations of sounds, or complete blocks of sounds.
- About one percent of any population stutters so that means in the United States, there are at least three million people who stutter.
- Research shows that stuttering is likely a physiological disorder not caused by psychological factors or the actions of others. Furthermore, scientific studies have shown that:
- People who stutter have a significantly slower ability to turn their voice on and off quickly.
- People who stutter use their brain in a different way to speak than people who don’t stutter.
- Three times more males stutter than females.
- Stuttering is genetic and runs in families.
- People who stutter don’t stutter when they:
- Speak along with a group saying the same words (choral speaking)
- Speak with an accent
- Use slow speaking
- Speak with a rhythm
Therapies To Treat Stuttering:
- Stuttering Modification – Developed in the 1930’s – the goal is to learn to stutter more easily and feel OK with your stuttering.
- Fluency Shaping – Developed in the 1970’s – Prolonged Speech programs replace stuttered speech with stutter-free speech.
- Lidcombe Program – Developed in Australia recently. Parents of preschoolers reward fluency in the home environment.
Talking to People Who Stutter
Here are some tips when you have a conversation with a person who stutters:
- Try not to finish sentences or fill in words. No one likes words put in his or her mouth and problems can also multiply if you guess wrong.
- Avoid suggestions such as “slow down,” “relax,” or “take a breath, just think about what you want to say”. If these suggestions worked, the person wouldn’t stutter.
- Wait patiently until your conversational partner is finished speaking. Maintain eye contact and try not to look embarrassed or alarmed.
- Talk about stuttering openly. It should not be a taboo subject. Your friend or family member will appreciate your interest in the subject.
Stuttering Information Resources Links
There are many web pages that provide useful information:
The Stuttering Home Page
There are tons of stuttering information, therapies, research, support groups etc.
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
A national organization of Speech Pathologists and Audiologists
National Stuttering Association
Support and self-help for people who stutter with local chapter meetings
New Stuttering Therapy Program using vocal feedback on the iPad.
FRIENDS is the only national organization dedicated solely to empowering young people who stutter and their families