Struggling with a stutter? Here’s what you can do.

Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder where there’s an interruption of the normal flow of speech ppt free template download. A stutter can take on many different patterns.

Usually, the disorder involves either saying a string of repeated sounds or making abnormal pauses during speech.

People who stutter may have the following types of disfluencies:

Blocks: When you have a hard time getting a word out, you may pause for a long time or not be able to make a sound like “I want a …… biscuit.”

Prolongations: You may stretch a sound out for a long time, like biiiiiiiiiiiscuit.

Repetitions: You may repeat parts of words, like bi-bi-bi-biscuit.

Why does this happen?

Stuttering usually starts between two and six years old. Many children go through normal periods of disfluency lasting less than six months. Stuttering lasting longer than this may need treatment.
Factors that causes stuttering include:

Family history: Many people who stutter have a family member who also stutters.
Brain differences: People who stutter may have small differences in the way the brain works during speech.
Gender:  Boys are more likely to stutter than girls.
Family recovery patterns:  Children with family members who stopped stuttering are more likely to stop as well.
Mood and temperament:  If a child stutters, mood and temperament may lead to further stuttering. Frustration or tension can cause more disfluency. Being excited or feeling rushed can make stuttering worse. A person may also stutter more if other people tease them or bring attention to their speech.
Triggers: Some life events may “trigger” stuttering. A child may start to stutter when he learns several new words quickly. He may be able to say one or two words fluently, but may stutter when using longer sentences.

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Stuttering signs

  • Repeating a sound (“c-c-c-cat”), a syllable (“ad-ad-ad-advice”), a whole word or a phrase.
  • Stretching out a sound (“r—-ound”) or a syllable (“ta——-ble”)
  • Long pauses or hesitations in the normal flow of speech.
  • Rushed sentences or phrases.

Physical signs that a child is struggling to “force out” words, include grimaces, tight facial muscles, quivering (tremors) around the mouth and eye blinking.

Manage your stutter

While there’s no instant cure for stuttering, certain situations like stress, fatigue, or pressure can worsen it. In addition to managing these situations, you could also try these techniques:

  1. Practice speaking slowly
    Speaking slowly and deliberately can reduce stress and the symptoms of a stutter. Also add a brief pause between phrases and sentences to help slow down speech.
  2. Avoid trigger words
    Avoid specific words that lead to stuttering. Find alternatives instead.
  3. Try mindfulness
    Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and stress which can help decrease stuttering. Join a meditation class, download an app or watch videos online.

Treatment for stuttering

Consult a speech-language pathologist to help you or your child with skills, strategies, and behaviours to improve oral communication.

References