Have you ever noticed a person finding difficulty in expressing themselves? They are not short of words, but they have trouble talking evenly. Also known as diffluent speech and stammering, stuttering is a speech disorder that affects at least five to ten percent of children between the ages of two to six. Stuttering is most commonly characterized by an uneven rate of speech and repeated words, syllables, and sounds. As a child’s development progresses, through early intervention, this speech disorder stops. Most of the children outgrow stuttering speech naturally, and only a few continue to stutter as adults.  

What are the Symptoms of Stuttering?

Stuttering is caused by various reasons, such as neurophysiology, family history, developmental delay, among others. Stuttering causes stress that may appear as the following:

  • Increased frustration while communicating
  • Hesitation or refusal to speak
  • A pause before starting speech
  • Repetition of phrases, words, sounds, and syllables
  • A tensed voice
  • Interjections of additional sounds or words into the speech or sentence
  • Rearrangement or shuffling of words of the sentence
  • Making long sounds of the word

The symptoms of stuttering vary from one person to another and are increased by high-stress environments and social settings. People who stutter find speaking in public a challenge and often hold back. 

What are the Different Types of Stuttering?

There are three different types of stuttering identified by experts, which are as follows:

Developmental Stuttering

It is the most common form of stuttering and occurs mostly in children who are learning speech and language skills when their abilities do not meet their verbal demands. As genetic factors contribute to this condition, it is often caused by a family history of stuttering.

Neurogenic Stuttering

When the brain has difficulties coordinating the different regions of the brain that are responsible for speech, it results in stuttering. It is caused by the abnormalities of the signal between the brain and the muscles or nerves and usually occurs after head trauma, stroke, or other types of brain injury.

Psychogenic Stuttering

It is a rare condition that is caused by emotional trauma and originates in the thinking and reasoning part of the brain.

A speech disorder is usually diagnosed by a health professional who is a speech-language pathologist trained to test for abnormalities and treat stuttering. In children, the condition is usually treated with speech therapy.

How is Stuttering Treated?

Some of the treatment approaches to treat stuttering include the following:

Speech Therapy

The therapy is offered by expert speech therapists who teach you to slow down the speech to be able to notice when you stutter. It enables you to work upon your speech as you practice.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

This type of psychotherapy helps you to learn, identify, and change the way you think that makes stuttering worse. It helps to relieve anxiety, stress, and self-esteem problems that are related to stuttering.

Electronic Stuttering Devices

Several electronic speech devices and anti-stuttering device are available in the market that helps to enhance fluency. These devices are best used under the guidance of a speech-language pathologist for the best results.

Stuttering is a temporary condition that affects children, which can be overcome through early intervention.

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