In 1998, International Stuttering Awareness Day was created and developed to raise public awareness of stuttering, which affects one percent of the world’s population.
Stuttering is a communication disorder involving disruptions, or dysfluencies, in a person’s speech, but there are nearly as many ways to stutter as there are people who stutter.
What is Stuttering?
According to the National Stuttering Association:
Stuttering is a communication disorder involving disruptions, or “disfluencies,” in a person’s speech.
People who stutter may experience repetitions (D-d-d-dog), prolongations (Mmmmmmilk), or blocks (absence of sound), or can experience some combination of these sounds. The severity of stuttering varies widely among individuals.
It’s estimated about one percent of the adult population stutters, which equates to almost three million people who stutter in the United States. The most common type of stuttering (sometimes called developmental stuttering) usually develops in childhood, most often between ages two and eight. Roughly 4 to 5 percent of people experience stuttering at some time during their childhood. Stuttering is about three or four times more common in males than females. While the majority become fluent by the time they reach adulthood, stuttering may continue to be a chronic, persistent problem for other people who stutter.
What Causes Stuttering?
The causes of stuttering are still unknown, but many researchers state that stuttering involves differences in brain activity that interfere with the production of speech. In some people, the tendency to stutter may be inherited. At times, the interference with speech is sometimes triggered by an emotional reaction or situational factor, however, it is not psychological in nature.
Is There A Cure?
There is no reliable, research-backed “cure” that works consistently, over time, and for all people who stutter.
Although there is no simple cure for stuttering, people who stutter can learn to speak more easily, feel better about themselves and their speaking ability, and communicate more effectively.
Many individuals benefit from various forms of speech therapy and from support groups.
If you, or someone you know, can benefit from support groups or organizations that specialize in the awareness and treatment of Stuttering, check out the Canadian Stuttering Association here.
“If you Stutter, You Are Definitely in Good Company” – Stuttering Foundation of America