What is Stuttering/Stammering?
Stuttering and Stammering are two different words that are used to describe the same condition. Generally speaking ‘stuttering’ is used more commonly in North America, Australia, and the Middle East while in UK they tend to use the word ‘stammering’.
We do not know what causes stuttering, but research shows that a combination of factors is involved. Stammering affects four times as many men as women. Statistics show us that approximately 400,000 plus adults in the GCC countries stutter, which is about 1% of the adult population.
It is vital to recognise that everyone who stammers is different, and stammers differently. Everyone is an individual and any therapy or training must respect your individuality. Therefore, every person who stammers is potentially an expert on their own stammering. Recognising and always respecting these very important facts is the foundation to The Starfish Project and its success in helping people in their recovery from stuttering.
Stuttering is a disorder of fluency that is characterised by various behaviours that interfere with the forward flow of speech. While all individuals are disfluent to some extent, what differentiates stammerers from non-stutterers is the frequency of their disfluency and/or the severity of their disfluency. However, the other factor that differentiates stammerers from non-stutterers is that almost invariably the disfluencies that the stutterer regards as “stuttering” are accompanied by a feeling of loss of control. It is this loss of control, which can’t be observed or experienced by the listener, that is generally most problematic for the stutterer.
(This excellent short definition of stammering was written by Robert W. Quesal, Ph.D.Western Illinois University and is reproduced here with his permission.) his web site is :- www.wiu.edu/users/mfrwq
Stuttering – is generally characterized by repetitions (sounds, syllables, part-words, whole words, phrases), pauses, and prolongations that differ in number and severity from those of ‘normally fluent’ individuals. Whilst other disorders are characterised by disfluent speech, the patterns of disfluency in these other disorders differ from that seen in developmental stuttering.
Stuttering – however, is not simply a speech difficulty, it is a serious communication problem. It can undermine a person’s self-esteem; affect their interaction with others; impede their education and seriously hamper employment potential.
- Stuttering is universal – in all countries of the world and all groups equally.
- There are an estimated 500,000 plus adult stutterers in the UK that is 1% of the adult population, over 3 million stammer in the USA and some 45 million in the world.
- More males than females stammer a ratio of 4 or 5 to one.
- Stuttering in nearly all cases begins in childhood — from 2 to 5 when language is being learned. It cannot be said to begin at birth.
- There is no known cause, certainly no single cause for stuttering but a combination of different factors are involved.
- Stuttering varies from time to time — Cyclic variation.
- Fluency is never perfect for anyone, just listen closely to the dysfluency of most so called ‘fluent’ speakers.
- Recoveries are never quick — rather gradual, with ups and downs.
- There are no special or impossible words or sounds for stutterers — only those which have become feared.
- ‘Authority’ figures are usually most difficult to talk to ( headmaster syndrome).
- Time pressure increases stuttering.
- Demands for explanations increase stuttering.
- Excitement, confusion, fatigue and uncertainty, increase stuttering.
- Stuttering is influenced by behavioural factors but it is NOT caused by an emotional problem or a nervous disorder.
- Praising fluency does not help; it implies that stammering is bad.
- No two stutterers are the same, everyone who stutters is different and stutters differently, all stutterers are individuals and deserve to be treated as individuals.
- At this time all leading experts agree, that , unfortunately, THERE IS NO CURE FOR STUTTERING, and people who stutter should beware of and avoid any therapy that offers a CURE.
However, there is therapy available from The Starfish Project that provides sustainable and effective solutions for controlling stuttering (stammering).
And By The Way
Stuttering / Stammering IS NOT caused by :-
- The mother eating incorrect foods when breast feeding the infant.
- Allowing an infant to look in the mirror.
- Tickling the child’s soles of the feet.
- Cutting the child’s hair before he/she says his/her first words.
- The mother seeing a snake during pregnancy.
- The mother dropping a baby.
- The child being scared as a baby.
- The child being bitten by a dog.
- The work of the devil.
And a hundred and one other stupid old tales.
There is no known cause, certainly no single cause for stuttering, but a combination of different factors are involved.