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Most of my life I have been stuttering and I do not know why. So, I decided to research, “Why do people stutter and can it be treated?” I think it would really impact my life since I am a stutter. I am using this research as a guide to be able to help myself and other. Stuttering has been known to keep people from reaching their goals because they do not know what stuttering is, the causes, symptoms, the effects it has on people, and how it can be treated. Many people do not know exactly what stuttering is; however I will be defining it for you. “Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables.” There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering is also referred to as stammering. (“Stuttering Facts and Information” 1) Stuttering is more common in boys than girls. It also tends to persist into adulthood more often in boys than in girls. (“Stuttering-PubMed” 1)

There are several factors that contribute to the cause of stuttering, in which genetics is a known cause. One way stuttering is developed is simply by genetics. Research methods have improved, and family trees were analyzed in detail to study the occurrence of stuttering in different classes of relatives: mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers, taking into account family size, something that was overlooked in the past. The accumulated findings justified a move from behavioral and statistical genetics into biological genetics. Typically, the first phase in such research is linkage analysis aimed at identifying the general location of possible genes using DNA extracted from samples of body tissues. (“Stuttering Facts and Information” 1) A person who stutters is likely to have relatives who also stutter. “If a person has persistent stuttering, any stuttering relatives will also tend towards persistence; and if a person experiences early natural recovery from stuttering, any stuttering relatives will tend towards early natural recovery in other words, there is a tendency for either persistent or recovered stuttering to run in families” as shown in Figure 1 below. (“Research”)

Figure 1 (“Research”)
Another way stuttering comes about is through child development. Many toddlers and preschool age children stutter as they are learning to talk, and although many parents worry about it, most of these children will outgrow the stuttering and will have normal speech as they get older. Since most of these children don’t stutter as adults, this normal stage of speech development is usually referred to as psuedostuttering or as a normal dysfluency. As children learn to talk, they may repeat certain sounds, stumble on or mispronounce words, hesitate between words, substitute sounds for each other, and be unable to express some sounds. Children with a normal dysfluency usually have brief repetitions of certain sounds, syllables or short words; however, the stuttering usually comes and goes and is most noticeable when a child is excited, stressed or overly tired. (Iannelli 1) Neurophysiocology is also a cause of stuttering. Stuttering is also believed to be caused by neurophysiocology. Neurogenic stuttering is a type of fluency disorder in which a person has difficulty in producing speech in a normal, smooth fashion.

Individuals with fluency disorders may have speech that sounds fragmented or halting, with frequent interruptions and difficulty producing words without effort or struggle. Neurogenic stuttering typically appears following some sort of injury or disease to the central nervous system. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord, including cortex, subcortex, cerebellar, and even the neural pathway regions. (“Stuttering Facts and Information” 1) Emotional trauma is also believed to be a cause of stuttering. Stuttering may rarely be caused by emotional trauma called psychogenic stuttering. Psychogenic stuttering can be caused by emotional trauma or problems with thought or reasoning. At one time, all stuttering was believed to be psychogenic, but today we know that psychogenic stuttering is rare. (“Stuttering-NIDCD” 1) Although individuals who stutter may develop emotional problems such as fear of meeting new people or speaking on the telephone, these problems often result from stuttering rather than causing the stuttering. Psychogenic stuttering occasionally occurs in individuals who have some type of mental illness or individuals who have experienced severe mental stress or anguish. (“Stuttering” 1) With stuttering there comes many symptoms. There are various ways that stuttering can be symptomized.

Symptoms of stuttering may include feeling frustrated when trying to communicate, pausing or hesitating when starting or during sentences, phrases, or words, often with the lips together. Other symptoms people have are tension in the voice, very long sounds within words, eye blinking, jerking of the head or other body parts, and jaw jerking. Children with mild stuttering are often unaware of their stuttering. In more severe cases, children may be more aware. Facial movements, anxiety, and increased stuttering may occur when they are asked to speak, but some people who stutter find that they don’t stutter when they read aloud or sing. (“Stuttering-PubMed” 1) Stuttering has different effects on people of different ages. It is most common for stuttering to start as early as children start talking. Many young kids go through a stage between the ages of two and five when they stutter, repeating certain syllables, words or phrases, prolonging them, or stopping, making no sound for certain sounds and syllables. Stuttering is a form of dysfluency, which is an interruption in the flow of speech. In many cases, stuttering goes away on its own by age five; in others, it lasts longer. (“Stuttering-PubMed” 1)

There’s no cure for stuttering, but effective treatments are available and you can help your child overcome it. Some people do not develop a stutter until they are teens or adults. Many teens and adults who stutter have been to speech therapy for their stuttering at least once in their lives. Some people have been through years of therapy. Just because you may have had treatment for your stuttering in the past does not mean you shouldn’t consider it again. It is common for stuttering to change over time or for emotions and attitudes about your speech to change as you have new experiences. (“Stuttering Facts and Information” 1) Unlike most speech problems stuttering actually has a treatment. Stuttering can be treated by a variety of successful approaches for treating both children and adults. One of the most effective ways to treat stuttering is by going to voice therapy.

In many cases, stuttering may be caused by either stress or improperly learned speech patterns. A speech therapist may use behavior modification to eliminate these patterns and help you speak in an unhurried and relaxed manner. (Gatewood 1) So, there is no need for people to let stuttering hold them back from being successful. People should not let stuttering keep them from reaching their full potential, because stuttering can be treated. People whom are trying to overcome stuttering should do so by first knowing what stuttering is. Secondly, they should know what cause them to stutter. Then it is important to know the symptoms they have. Though people who stutter may have the same causes and symptoms, stuttering may have different effects on them. Lastly, they should get treatment and inform the voice therapist about what they believed caused them to stutter and the symptoms they have. Hopefully the treatment will help, and they will fulfill their goals.

Work Cited

Gatewood, Christa. “3 Ways to Treat Stuttering.” LIVESTRONG. Web. 12 March 2012 Iannelli, Vincent. “Stuttering in Children.” About.com. 15 March 2008. Web. 15 February 2012 “Research .” The Department of Speech & Hearing Science. Web. 12 March 2012 “Stuttering.” medicinenet. Web. 12 March 2012

“Stuttering- NIDCD.” 9 June 2010. Web. 27 February 2012
“Stuttering Facts and information.” The Stuttering Foundation. Web. 16 February 2012 “Stuutering-PubMed.” NCBI. 3 May 2010. Web. 15 February 2012

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