10 Facts About Stuttering You Need To See Today!
Have you ever spoken to someone who has trouble expressing themselves fluently? In all likelihood, they have a stuttering problem.
People who stutter don’t have any issues thinking about a response to your question or remark, they simply have a problem getting the words out.
As adults, most of us have learnt how to act appropriately, and many of us have learned how to minimize verbal communication with those who stutter.
However, that doesn’t always save us from feeling awkward. If you don’t know what to say or how to react when your friend, acquaintance or co-worker begins stuttering, that’s completely fine. You aren’t alone!
Here are a few facts about stuttering and people who stutter that can help you react appropriately –
- Around 1% of adults stutter — 1% or 70 million people across the globe stutter. It translates to around 3 million adults in the US. According to the Indian Stammering Association, between 11 and 12 million adults stammer in India. Roughly, 1 in every 100 adults stammers around the world irrespective of language or culture. Only a fraction has access to modern speech therapy.
- 5% of children stutter during childhood — Around 5% of 1 in 20 children develop speech disfluency during their childhood. According to Dr Barry Guitar, most commonly, stuttering begins between the ages of 2 and 5 years. The stuttering coincides with the stresses of childhood including the rapid growth of vocabulary, changes in the home environment, attending a new school or moving to a new neighbourhood. This is what experts refer to as developmental stuttering. It can last for a few weeks, a couple of months or even a lifetime.
- The recovery rates of stuttering are highly variable — Among all children who have stuttering, most will recover by the age of 7 or 8 years. Many recover without the intervention of speech-language pathologists. Some require stuttering treatment. Only about 1 in 100 children will not recover from developmental stuttering. They continue to stutter into their adulthood. There is a high chance that someone in their family also has stammering.
- Boys are more likely to stutter than girls — Developmental stuttering may affect both genders, but girls recover more quickly than boys. Boys always show a higher risk of stuttering persistence. As children, every 2 boys stutter for every 1 girl who stutters. In adulthood, the male-to-female ratio of stuttering changes to 4 to 1. Therefore, girls who have been stuttering persistently for more than a year have a higher chance of stuttering throughout life than others.
- Stammering is a neurological condition — One of the primary contributors to stuttering is genetics. People who stutter often have either parents, grandparents, uncles or aunts, who stutter. Multiple genes and their mutations can contribute to stuttering. It is indeed true that mutations in certain genes contribute to anomalous structures and functions of the neuronal connections within the brain. The speech centres in the brain and language processing centres may have anomalies that contribute to stuttered speech. These differences may contribute to speech disfluencies in people who carry these mutations.
- Neurophysiology is another factor that contributes to stuttering — Modern research shows that some who stutter may have different methods of auditory processing. According to research by Foundas et al in 2001, brain imaging studies of a select group of adults who stutter shows that some may have anomalies in their neurophysiology that causes difficulties in auditory processing at a higher level. On the same note, brain trauma and stroke may also contribute to a sudden onset of stuttering in adults who have never stuttered before. Speech-language pathologists refer to this as acquired or late-onset stuttering. Acquired stuttering may involve whole-word repetitions or end-word repetitions, which are not seen in developmental stuttering.
- Other conditions/disorders can trigger stuttering — Children with developmental disorders are also likely to stutter more than other children who don’t have them.Some children with developmental delays and/or speech-language problems may show a higher than normal propensity to stammer. Autism spectrum disorder may not be a speech-language disorder, but children with autism often have a tough time with verbal communication. Many children with autism also stutter. for example, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association states that trouble with communication is one of the diagnostics criteria used by experts for diagnosing autism in children.
- People who stutter aren’t always shy, fearful or anxious — It’s a common misconception that people who stutter do so out of anxiety or shyness. The fact is that stuttering can make a person feel like he/she is losing control of their speech. That is unsettling, frustrating and infuriating in some cases.Therefore, the person may not stutter out of anxiety, fear or anger, but all of these negative emotions can make a person’s speech disfluencies much worse. As a listener, you can try to be patient and compassionate to reduce the discomfort the speaker might be feeling.
- The frequency and intensity of stuttering can vary — Emotions, psychological and physiological stress can influence the intensity of stutter. For example, it is common for someone who stutters to face more blocks, prolongations and repetitions during an interview or a conference call, than while talking to their family. Some often report speaking without any disfluencies while talking to their pet, or talking to themselves. Situations, and the emotions they evoke play crucial roles in how much a person is going to stutter. therefore, answering phone calls, talking on video calls, attending online classes/seminars, talking to a stranger, talking at the checkout of a store and giving interviews are often listed as the most-feared tasks by people who stutter. You can change that. Begin your speech exercises today by joining the Stamurai community.
- Anyone can stutter — A flurry of famous actors, singers, politicians and entrepreneurs stutter. Today, we have stand-up comedians like Drew Lynch, who stutters. Stuttering is not the reason to not dream!Anyone who stutters can become a teacher, researcher, scientist, live performer and more! Stuttering never defines a person. It’s just a speech disfluency that you can choose to have treated. If not, you can still rock it, with a little help from friends like Stamurai — the speech therapy app.