A stammer is a disorder of speech. To speak in a flowing way (fluently), a child’s brain must develop many different nerve pathways. These pathways must interact in very precise and rapid ways. Stammering usually emerges in childhood as a symptom that the brain’s pathways for speech are not being wired normally. Most young children grow out of their stammer – but the longer the stammering symptoms persist, the more difficult it is to change the brain’s wiring.
Stuttering is characterized by:
• repeated words, sounds, or syllables
• halting speech production
• uneven rate of speech
Stammering usually starts when a child is developing speaking skills, and is therefore referred to as developmental stammering. Family genetics are relevant in some cases – someone with stammering in the family seems more likely to develop their own stammer. In rare cases, stammering can start in adult life, when it is known as acquired or late-onset stammering, and is most commonly caused by a stroke, resulting in damage to the brain. It may also be caused by head injury or severe emotional upset.
People who stammer are no different in intelligence or intellectual or emotional ability. But they are often stereotyped as being nervous, shy, self-conscious, tense, sensitive, hesitant, introverted or insecure. There is no evidence to support this. However, many people who stammer are nervous about speaking, especially in public.
In rare cases, stammering can start in adult life, when it is known as acquired or late-onset stammering, and is most commonly caused by a stroke, resulting in damage to the brain. It may also be caused by head injury or severe emotional upset.
Not all children who stutter will require treatment because developmental stuttering usually resolves with time. Speech therapy is an option for some children.
Whether or not you decide to seek treatment, creating a low-stress environment can help reduce stuttering. Support groups for you and your child are also available.
Well if you didn’t know what causes stammering, I bet now you know. From facts only, that’s it for today. See you in the next video.