What is Stuttering?

What is Stuttering? - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What is stuttering?

What is stuttering?

Also known as stammering speech or diffluent speech, stuttering is one of the most common types of speech disorders. Studies suggest that it is most common amongst children, especially those between the ages of 2 to 6 years. Stuttering is therefore a disorder wherein a person tends to repeat or prolong certain words, syllables or even phrases.

In some cases, a stutterer may also stop while talking or make no sound for certain syllables. A stuttering speech is typically characterized by the following factors:

  • Uneven rate of speech
  • Repeated words, sounds, syllables, etc.
  • Disjointed speech production

How is stuttering diagnosed?

The best way to diagnose stuttering and stammering is to consult a speech-language pathologist. The diagnosis of stuttering does not require any physical or invasive testing. This can be simply done by observing the way a stutterer speaks in a variety of different situations and scenarios.

While some aspects of a stuttering speech are relatively obvious and easy to determine, there are other aspects that require help from a speech-language pathologist. In addition to finding out the problems a person faces while speaking, they will also assess how often such issues occur, besides how the person deals with their stammering speech.

Furthermore, the pathologist may also perform some assessments to determine if the person suffers from a fluency disorder. These assessments include:

  • Language skills
  • Rate of speech

A fair diagnosis is quite crucial for overcoming stuttering and other speech disorders.

What are the symptoms of stuttering?

Stuttering or stammering speech is typically characterized by the repetition of sounds, words, syllables and phrases, along with other disruptions in the normal rate of speech. Other symptoms of stuttering include the following:

  • Difficulty in starting a word, phrase or sentence
  • Stretching a word or the sounds within a word
  • Repeated sounds, syllables or words
  • Broken words
  • Addition of extra words like “um,” “uh,” etc.
  • Anxiety while talking
  • A pause in speech fluency
  • A tensed expression or movement in the face or upper body while talking

These symptoms of stuttering speech are also sometimes accompanied by

  • Facial tics
  • Head jerks
  • Rapid blinking
  • Lip or jaw tremors
  • Fist clenching
  • The tapping of the foot

What causes stuttering?

There is a combination of different factors that act as the cause of stuttering. While abnormalities in speech motor control, including timing, motor and sensory coordination and other factors are some major causes of stuttering and stammering, genetics can also be a major cause for the same.

Other possible causes of stuttering may include the following:

  • A family history of stuttering
  • Family dynamics
  • Neurophysiology
  • Brain injuries
  • Stroke
  • Emotional trauma
  • Damage to the vocal cords
  • Brain damage
  • Muscle weakness
  • Respiratory weakness
  • Nodules or polyps on the vocal cords

Some rare causes of stammering speech consist of

  • Cancers such as oral cancer, laryngeal cancer, etc.
  • Autism
  • Dementia

In order to treat the cause of stuttering, it is best to consult specialists and get the best stuttering treatment.

Treatment of stuttering

After getting diagnosed with stuttering, it is best to consult a specialist who will offer a comprehensive evaluation for the speech disorder and curate a specialised treatment plan according to your concerns. There are several different approaches to a stuttering treatment for a stutterer.

A stuttering treatment is typically done based on the concerns and needs of the individual. This can be a single treatment plan or a combination of different methods. While treatment may not completely eliminate stuttering, it can help to improve the fluency of speech. Additionally, it may also help the stutterer to develop effective means of communication, take part in special activities, etc.

Some of the common methods of stuttering treatment include the following:

  • Speech therapy:

    Speech therapy for stuttering is one of the best methods to treat this speech disorder. Speech therapy can help a stutterer to slow down their speech, in addition to helping them notice when they stutter. This treatment includes speaking slowly and deliberately in the beginning and gradually developing a more natural pattern of speech. Speech therapy for stuttering also helps a person to monitor their rate of speech, breath support as well as laryngeal tension when they speak.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy:

    This is a type of psychotherapy, which can help the stutterer to identify and change the way they think, thereby subsequently reduce their causes of stuttering. This therapy also resolves stress and anxiety, which in turn improves their self-esteem and stuttering.

  • Use of electronic devices:

    There are many electronic devices available in the market which can help to enhance speech fluency in a person who stutters. These devices tend to pride the person on auditory feedback that helps them slow down their speech. Additionally, some devices also mimic their speech pattern.

  • Alternative therapy:

    There are some alternate forms of therapy, such as acupuncture, electric brain stimulation as well as breathing exercises which may be effective in reducing stuttering.

Take away

If you or someone you know suffers from stuttering or similar problems, it is best to consult the specialists at Tarang Clinic for stuttering treatment. In addition to offering the best speech therapy in Delhi, the doctors here also help to prevent the stuttering speech from worsening any further. Speech therapy for stuttering is one of the best modern methods to treat speech disorders such as stuttering and stammering and can make speaking easy for people with such problems.

Offering complete diagnostic and rehabilitation services for people with stammering speech, Tarang Clinic also boasts state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and tools, including speech therapy in Delhi. The clinic has a team of distinguished and expert audiologists and speech pathologists who work together to help treat the cause of stuttering in their patients.