What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a speech disorder where the smooth flow of speech is disrupted. This dysfluency may interfere with the ability to be clearly understood.

Some types of stutters include:

  • Repetitions of sounds, syllables or words e.g.  LLLet’s go to Orchard or Ba-Ba Bali has great beaches.
  • Blockings that is, silence as the person tries to speak.
  • Prolongations such as, e.g. Can i have a drrrrink please?
  • Verbal disruptions may be accompanied by body, head and facial movements such as eye-blinking or other signs of struggle and tension.

What Causes Stuttering?

The causes of stuttering are multifactorial. Stuttering has been strongly linked to a genetic basis. Stuttering also affects more males than females, with reported rations varying from 3:1 to 5:1 (Onslow, 1998).  In addition, brain studies have also shown differences in the brains of people who stutter, compared to normal individuals.

Stuttering may also be influenced by environmental factors and may be worse in situations  which produces anxiety or stress.

Onset of Stuttering

The onset of stuttering typically occurs in the early years of life, between 2 to 5 years old or as soon as a child starts putting words together into short sentences. Sometimes, stuttering may be ‘acquired’ in late childhood or early adulthood. “Acquired” stuttering may occur due to psychogenic reasons or neurological trauma such as a head injury or stroke.

Stuttering treatment

Prolonged or Smooth speech techniques have been shown to have very favourable outcomes.

Clients are taught specific strategies to improve their fluency and control the stutter. Treatment is conducted on an individual basis and tailored to suit the client’’s needs. This may include reading, presentations,or speaking engagements, job interviews or other social  situations. This is important, especially as first impressions count.

Great Stuttering Resources
Australian Stuttering Research Centre :