Stuttering (or stammering) is a voice disfluency, a speech disorder. When a person stutters, the normal flow of speech is disrupted by repetitions and/or prolongations of voice sounds. Frequently, an individual is also unable to start a word.
Child stuttering, toddler stuttering and adult stuttering are themes being studied by many scientists and speech specialists all around the world. The Stuttering Foundation of America, the National Stuttering Association, the National Center for Stuttering and individual speech therapists in general are all investigating why people stutter and finding effective and fast speech therapies.
Nevertheless, even though scientists have several theories and suspect a variety of causes for stuttering, the precise mechanisms causing this disability (also called stammering) are not understood. Some believe that many forms have genetic origins.
A common form of stuttering is neurogenic. Neurogenic stuttering arise from signal problems between the brain and nerves or muscles. In neurogenic stuttering, the brain is unable to adequately coordinate the different components of speech mechanism.
The disruptions of speech may be accompanied by tremors of the lips and/or jaw, rapid eye blinks and other movements. This disorder commonly becomes more severe when speaking in front of a group of people or on the phone. On the other hand, speaking alone and singing might generally improve it or disappear completely.
Over three million Americans stutter. Stuttering affects all ages, but most frequently, children between the ages of 2 and 6 are the most affected. Preschool and toddler stuttering are especially affected while they are developing their language. When they grow up, most of them improve or cure. One percent or less of adults stutters.
Many famous people stutter. Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Willis, Winston Churchill and Mel Tillis are only a few whose success was not impeded by stuttering. Their speech language issue did not stop them to excel and express themselves magnificently.
With these encoraging news about famous people succeeding in spite of their common issue, I end part 1 of these series of articles. Much more information can be found at a site dedicated to stuttering problems and resources, as well as a library of speech language pathology.
This is the end of Part 1 of Stuttering and speech therapy ideas. On next chapters I will be writing about different and effective therapies developed lately by researchers on the field of stammering or speech language pathology.