Stuttering is a communication impairment characterized by excessive, involuntary disruptions in the rate, rhythm and forward flow of speech.
Facts about Stuttering
- Stuttering is universal—it occurs in all cultures and languages worldwide.
- 1% of our total population stutters to some degree.
- 75% of the children who display stuttering-like behavior do not become adult stutterers.
- Stuttering is more common among males than females by about a 3 to 1 ratio.
- Most stuttering begins in the preschool years, with almost no stuttering beginning after puberty (unless there has been an occurrence of brain damage).
A word may be considered stuttered upon if . . .
- a person struggles when trying to begin the word.
- there is a silent stop before the word.
- there is forced breathing associated with the word.
- there is prolongation on any sound in a word.
- there is repetition of any of the sounds or syllables in a word, or the word itself.
- there are changes in the pitch or loudness of the voice during the dysfluency.
A person’s emotional reactions to their dysfluencies (stuttering) are often fear and avoidance of situations (such as making a telephone call, or ordering at a restaurant) where they have had particular problems in the past. They may even expect specific words or sounds will be stuttered upon; therefore, they avoid these words and sounds.