The Scoop on Stuttering
Do you know someone who stutters? Chances are you do, since there are more than three million people in the US who have this problem. Get your info on stuttering right here.
What Is It?
Stuttering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repeating or dragging sounds or syllables, and by involuntarily pausing between words. A person who stutters might say, "H-how's it g-g-going?" instead of, "How's it going?" Stuttering makes it difficult to speak smoothly, and feeling nervous, stressed, or self-conscious about it can make talking even harder. And contrary to popular belief, stuttering isn't a disease or a nervous tic, and it has nothing to do with a person's intelligence - they're just as smart as everyone else!
What Causes It?
No one knows for sure why people stutter, but it could be caused by genetics (it runs in the family), developmental problems (a delay in learning to walk or talk), or neurophysiological problems (problems in the brain and nervous system).
How Is It Treated?
There's no cure for stuttering, but speech therapy can help make talking a lot easier. A speech and language therapist will help you with your speech by having you speak, read out loud and pronounce different words. With time and practice, the frequency of your stuttering can be reduced to the point where people may not be able to tell you had a stutter to begin with!
Did You Know?
- About one in 20 kids stutter.
- Stuttering affects guys four times more than girls.
- In the UK, stuttering is known as stammering.
- Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Tiger Woods, Kenyon Martin of the Denver Nuggets, Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke and Porky Pig all have a stutter.
- National Stuttering Awareness Week always falls on the second week of May. This year, it runs from May 12-18th.