An Insight to Stuttering.

October 22nd is International Stuttering awareness Day.

In the Hindi movie scenario, the stuttering hero is either “oh! so cute” or “Oh! so funny.” But believe me in real life it is “Oh! so embarrassing ” or “a panic attack.”

So what is stuttering?

It is a communication disorder where the flow of speech is broken by repetitions, prolonged or abnormal stoppages. Sometimes there are unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering is also called stammering.

When I say repetition it is (li-li-like this)  prolongations is (lllllike this)

Stuttering day is about creating awareness.

Stuttering is usually hereditary, though panic or anxiety can trigger or accentuate it. If handled early it can be managed effortlessly but at later stages it involves effort.  I remember the speech therapist Dr.Rajashekhar Bellur of MAHE  given us some guide lines.

  • Practise reading slowly with a Newspaper.
  • To avoid using the trigger words.
  • To mindfully avoid anxiety.

Stammering usually develops during childhood and is neurological rather than psychological. Of course anxiety or stress can accentuate the stutter. About 60% of the stutters tend to have family members who also stutter.

A stroke or a traumatic brain injury or other cerebral disorders can slow the speech or give pauses. There could also be neurogenic stuttering or repeated sounds.

Sometimes there speech gets affected after emotional trauma.

Studies conducted at the Illinois over the past 15yrs reveals that language development in children who stutter at an young age falls within the normal range, and very often well above the normal (Watkins, Yairi &Ambrose) actually other research studies show that parents report a spurt of language development just prior to the onset of stuttering, kids showed a tendency to speak longer sentences and use new words.  The often used quote seemed, “his brain works faster than his mouth.” Interestingly higher language skills seems to be a higher stammering risk, it is quite intriguing to theorize that recovery from stuttering would occur as these children reduce their early accelerated rate of language development.  If these findings by the Illinois language centre is valid then it would have tremendous clinical implication for parent counselling and therapy programs.

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