- Lori Melnitsky
What causes stuttering?
What Causes Stuttering?
(This was adapted from the Stuttering Foundation of America)
Stuttering Facts and Information
What is stuttering? 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.
What causes stuttering? There are four factors most likely to contribute to the development of stuttering: genetics (approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who does also); child development (children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter); neurophysiology (recent neurological research has shown that people who stutter process speech and language slightly differently than those who do not stutter); and family dynamics (high expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can contribute to stuttering).
Stuttering may occur when a combination of factors comes together and may have different causes in different people. It is probable that what causes stuttering differs from what makes it continue or get worse.
How many people stutter? More than 70 million people worldwide stutter, which is about 1% of the population. In the United States, that’s over 3 million Americans who stutter.
What is the ratio of males to females who stutter? Stuttering affects four times as many males as females.
How many children stutter? Approximately 5 percent of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more. Three-quarters of those will recover by late childhood, leaving about 1% with a long-term problem. The best prevention tool is early intervention.
Is stuttering caused by emotional or psychological problems? Children and adults who stutter are no more likely to have psychological or emotional problems than children and adults who do not. There is no reason to believe that emotional trauma causes stuttering.
I think my child is beginning to stutter. Should I wait or seek help? If you are concerned seek help. There is no reason to wait..
Can stuttering be treated? Yes, there are a variety of successful approaches for treating both children and adults . In general, the earlier the intervention the better.