Stuttering has been in over 70 million people all over the world. With more than 3 million Americans stuttering, it is essential to know some crucial things about stuttering. In this blog, we are going to cover five important things you must know about stuttering.
#1 Stuttering is complex
Over the decades, much research has gone toward understanding how people stutter. This research has led to numerous theories about stuttering.
- Based on the theories and research, stuttering is a complex phenomenon. What we know is that it has multiple components.
- Stuttering can cause emotional and physical disturbances. As a result, an individual may have difficulties with daily communication.
- They may experience negative emotions that significantly impact their quality of life.
- The cause of stuttering can also be quite complex. Stuttering is associated with various components such as genetic predisposition and differences, neurological, anatomical, and physiological differences, etc.
When people understand these components of stuttering, it helps them and their families understand stuttering better.
#2 Stuttering is not just a speech disorder
It is much more than that. When we think of stuttering, we think of repetitions, blocks, and prolongations. However, in addition to this, people also experience various reactions associated with their stuttering experiences. It may include:
- Reactions that can lead to physical tension
- Difficulty in speaking in multiple situations, such as communicating with strangers
Often, it is not just the speaker’s reactions to the stuttering but also those around the speaker. For instance, children and adults who stutter are being bullied, teased, and made fun of by their peers. When people around them respond this way, it makes it even more difficult for the stutterer to express themselves. All these reactions and dysfluencies affect the stutterer’s quality of life. Therefore, stuttering is not just a speech disorder but a consequence of other components.
#3 Variable nature of stuttering
Different people stutter differently. No two people stutter alike. Stuttering is not constant; it is variable.
- Stuttering varies in severity, situations, and types of dysfluencies.
- A person might be fluent when narrating a story to their friends but may have moderate stuttering while giving directions to a stranger.
- One may stutter with their close family members but be quite fluent with their friends.
#4 Knowing that it is okay to stutter
There is absolutely nothing wrong with stuttering. We must remember and understand that:
- People who stutter are just like any ordinary person – they are trying to talk.
- When people around them react negatively, it leads to negative emotions, making stuttering even harder.
- When an individual who stutters is assured that it is entirely okay to stutter, they can communicate more easily. It gives them the confidence to say whatever they want to.
- The dysfluencies do not stop them. It is very important that the speaker and those surrounding the speaker accept the stuttering.
Remember, the content of the communication is essential rather than how the person communicates.
# 5 Speech Therapy can help with Stuttering
It is quite well known that there is no cure for stuttering. Many young children conquer stuttering entirely, while some of them might not. Some children continue to stutter, and it progresses well into adulthood. These children would require speech therapy to help them achieve their fluency goals.
At this point, it is important to remember that:
- it is always recommended to consult a speech-language pathologist
- therapy is most effective when it focuses on more than just fluency.
- Children with stuttering will need additional help with dealing with emotional issues, reactions, and family support
- Stuttering is more than just a speech disorder.
Look at the bigger picture rather than just the stuttering. In doing so, the person with stuttering will develop a better quality of life.
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