What is Stuttering?
Stuttering are speech fluency disturbances that most often begins in childhood and may last throughout the life span. What distinguishes disfluencies that are considered stuttering than “normal” disturbances in one’s speech is the frequency of the disfluent episodes. The disfluencies take different forms and timing such as, part/whole word repetitions, sound prolongations, blocks, or the insertion of “fillers” such as; “um”, “like”, “uh”, “you know” etc.
These disturbances interfere with the person’s every day life communication and may impede their social life in sever cases. The individual may begin refusing to talk or avoid social places in an effort not to stutter. At times, when the individual tries to hid the stuttering they may develop “secondary” behaviors such as; eye blinks, head nods, exaggerated body part movements, etc. that further hinder their communication.
Although stuttering may persist throughout the life span, professionals can help the individual coping with their speech. An SLP (speech and language pathologist) can provide different therapeutic methods for decreasing the disfluencies and stop/reduce the secondary behaviors. The different therapeutic methods can help the individual’s speech become more fluent, identify their moments of stuttering and appropriately confront them.
Some helpful links for stuttering are:
National Stuttering Association
Stuttering Chat Room
University of Wisconsin Family Village
Stuttering Home Page
Stuttering Foundation of America
The Canadian Stuttering Association
International Stuttering Association
K12 Stuttering Association
University College London’s Archive
Frequently Asked Questions About Stuttering
University of Iowa