What is stuttering?
Stuttering affects the fluency of speech. It begins during childhood and, in some cases, lasts throughout life. The disorder is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds, also called" disfluencies" most people produce brief disfluencies from time to time. For instance, some words are repeated and others are preceded by" um" or" uh" disfluencies are not necessarily a problem; however, they can impede communication when a person produces too many of them.
Some examples of stuttering include:
*" w- w- w- where are you going" (part-word repetition: the person is having difficulty moving from the" w" in" where" to the remaining sounds in the word. On the fourth attempt, he successfully completes the word.)
*" ssss ave me a seat" (sound prolongation: the person is having difficulty moving from the" s" in" save" to the remaining sounds in the word. He continues to say the" s" sound until he is able to complete the word.)
*" i'll meet you - um um you know like - around six o'clock" (a series of interjections: the person expects to have difficulty smoothly joining the word" you" with the word" around" in response to the anticipated difficulty, he produces several interjections until he is able to say the word" around" smoothly.)
What causes stuttering?
The exact cause of stuttering is unknown. Recent studies suggest that genetics plays a role in the disorder. It is thought that many, if not most, individuals who stutter inherit traits that put them at risk to develop stuttering. The exact nature of these traits is presently unclear.
What treatments are available for stuttering?
Most treatment programs for people who stutter are" behavioral" they are designed to teach the person specific skills or behaviors that lead to improved oral communication. For instance, many slps teach people who stutter to control and/or monitor the rate at which they speak. In addition, people may learn to start saying words in a slightly slower and less physically tense manner. They may also learn to control or monitor their breathing. When learning to control speech rate, people often begin by practicing smooth, fluent speech at rates that are much slower than typical speech, using short phrases and sentences. Over time, people learn to produce smooth speech at faster rates, in longer sentences, and in more challenging situations until speech sounds both fluent and natural" follow-up" or" maintenance" sessions are often necessary after completion of formal intervention to prevent relapse.