Yesterday, October 22 was International Stuttering Awareness Day!
There are many theories and popular beliefs about what causes stuttering. However, despite considerable scientific research from the second half of the 20th century, the cause of the disorder remains a mystery. All we can say at present is that stuttering involves some problem with the neural processing—the brain activity—that supports speech production.
In short, stuttering is a physical disorder and is not caused by psychological factors such as nervousness or stress, or parenting practices, or the way parents communicate with their children when they are young.
However, psychological factors such as anxiety or stress can make stuttering worse. Stuttering tends to run in families, and it is generally accepted that this is because genetics is involved in its cause. However, the precise nature of genetic inheritance is unknown at the moment.
People who stutter – children and adults – can be excellent communicators. They can thrive in diverse communication settings and job environments. They can prove that it is WHAT you say, not how you say it, that matters
Therapy is available. Therapy can eradicate stuttering in young children. For adults, therapy can help mask the stutter and make communication easier.
I am grateful to work with children and adults who stutter. I use the Lidcombe Program for early intervention 3-8 year olds and the Camperdown Program with older teens and adults.
If you have any questions about stuttering or would like to discuss more, please reach out!
Source: Australian Stuttering Research Centre -which has a new home at the University of Technology Sydney: