Information: Stuttering Facts
When you are
talking to someone who is having trouble speaking fluently,
they most likely have a stuttering problem. You will probably
react appropriately by instinct, but if you are not sure
what to do, you are not alone.
often misunderstood and can cause the listener to feel anxious.
If you keep the following in mind, however, the experience
will be a more comfortable one for you and the person who
- About one
percent of adults and three percent of children stutter.
- We do not
know why people stutter, but apparently it is not a nervous
or personality disorder. People who stutter are normal
except they lack the ability in varying degrees to get
words out fluently. It is known that stuttering runs in
families and research shows neurological components are
probably involved in the disorder. Stuttering almost always
starts between the ages of two and five. Also, boys are
fives times more likely than girls to stutter; a gender
ratio we see in other developmental disorders.
is a complex set of behaviors that interfere with normal,
fluent speech. People who stutter may repeat syllables
or "block" while speaking. There are as many
different patterns of stuttering behavior as there are
people who stutter.
- The degree
to which people stutter varies widely. Some people who
stutter have more natural control over their speech than
others do. The degree of stuttering will also vary within
the individual. How much control they have will depend
on the particular situation in which they find themselves,
the difficulty of the words they must say, and how they
feel, in general, at that moment. People who stutter universally
report having "good days" and "bad days."
may look like an easy problem that can be solved with
some simple advice, but for adults it is a chronic life-long
disorder. People who stutter can achieve more control
over their speech, but total fluency is not a realistic
goal for most adults.
- People generally
do not stutter when they sing, whisper, speak in chorus,
or when they do not hear their own voice. There is no
universally accepted explanation for these phenomena.
- Over three
million Americans stutter.
affects four times as many males as females.
- People who
stutter are as intelligent and well-adjusted as non-stutterers.
- Despite decades
of research, there are no clear-cut answers to the causes
of stuttering, but much has been learned about factors
which contribute to its development.
- As a result,
tremendous progress has been made in the prevention of
stuttering in young children. Appropriate early intervention
can result in a cure for children under 5 years of age.
- People who
stutter are self-conscious about their stuttering and
often let the disability determine the vocation they choose.
- There are
no instant miracle cures for stuttering. Therapy is not
an overnight process.
- Some 25%
of all children go through a stage of development during
which they stutter. Only 5% of these children are at risk
to develop persistent stuttering patterns.
becomes an increasingly formidable problem in the teen
years as dating and social interactions begin.
can be very cyclical in nature, coming and going without
apparent cause or reason.
- A qualified
speech-language pathologist with fluency expertise can
help not only children, but also teenagers, young adults
and even older adults make significant progress toward
- Many famous
people stuttered: Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Carly
Simon, James Earl Jones, Ken Venturi, John Updike, Lewis
Carroll, Frank Wolf, Annie Glenn, Bob Love, John Stossel,
Bill Walton and King George VI all stuttered and overcame
* Parts taken
from the “Did You Know…” pamphlet from
the Stuttering Foundation of America.
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