Do you hesitate when you speak? Do you find yourself halting in the middle of words or faltering with your sentence completion? When you stutter, it can be hard for others to understand you, but don't feel alone, nearly three million people suffer from this type of speech disorder. Children often suffer from this speech condition and boys tend to have this issue more than girls, but they tend to just grow out of it. What causes people stutter then? Knowing this can help improve the condition and this article will discuss just that.
Why Do People Stutter?
Children commonly stutter when they are beginning to develop their language and speaking skills. As children progress out of this developmental stage, their stuttering will become less and less noticeable. Most children will grow out of their stutter once they become more comfortable and fluent in speaking.
Neurogenic stuttering is caused when the speech nerves and muscles in the brain do not function properly. While this can occur in children, it is also common in adults. Stroke, head trauma, blockage of blood flow to the brain, tumors, degenerative diseases and meningitis can all cause neurogenic stuttering.
While psychological issues are most often not the cause for someone to stutter, these issues can make the speech impairment more pronounced. Anxiety, stress, nervousness, and low self-esteem can make someone stutter even more if they already have a speech problem.
It is common that children who develop a continuous stutter issue will tend to have a close family member who also stutters.
The earlier the person starts stuttering, the less likely they will continue to stutter into their adult life. Typically a child that begins to stutter before the age of 3 will be less likely to stutter later in their life.
Length of time
After a year or two, children tend to grow out of their stutter. If a child continues to stutter for more than two years, the stutter is more likely to continue for even longer. Why do people stutter past the developmental stage? You may need to see a doctor to figure it our. For some children, professional help from a speech therapist may be required to stop the stuttering.
Boys tend to stutter longer than girls. This could be due to a neurological explanation or because of the way people react differently between girls stuttering and boys stuttering.
How to Relieve or Stop Stuttering
Electronic devices. There are devices that can help improve stutter. For children, a device that allows them to play back a recording of their voice can be helpful when they begin to speak too fast. This can encourage them to speak more slowly and clearly throughout the day. There are also hearing aids that can be worn to help improve stuttering. These hearing aids create a specific background noise that is said to help limit stuttering.
Drugs. Medications will not help treat a stuttering problem directly. However, some drugs may be able to help reduce stress and anxiety that can worsen the stutter.
Therapy. Acupuncture, breathing techniques, and electric brain stimulation are alternative therapies that can help reduce stuttering. Breathing techniques can be especially helpful since they can teach you how to stay calm and relax so that you can focus on what you want to say clearly. Why do people stutter? Besides what talked above, it can be made worse when you are not breathing properly. It is important for individuals who stutter to practice breathing techniques because they tend to have more difficulty breathing because of their stuttering. Take deeps breaths in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Once you have your breathing under control, your stutter will be under control easily.
A speech therapist can help someone better control their stutter by addressing some of the problems areas like how fast they speak, and how they breathe when they speak. A speech therapist will use different techniques to improve the stutter as well as improve the person self-esteem when they speak. The therapist will often work one on one with individuals as well as with parents to implement the techniques being applied in everyday situations.
There are additional ways you can begin to improve your stutter at home.
Relaxation techniques. Stutter can cause tension and stress for the individuals, so it is best to practice mind and body relaxation techniques. To relax the body, you want to keep the shoulders relax and concentrate on releasing tension from the back, arms, and neck. Before you begin to speak, buzz your lips and give your arms and legs a shake. To relax the mind, repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Keep in mind that your stutter will often be more bothersome to you than it is to most other people.
Practice in a mirror. Talk to yourself in mirror as if you would to any other person. Simply saying out loud how your day went can help improve your stutter and improve your confidence.
Read. Reading out loud will help you practice your breath skills. This technique will also allow you to learn how to recover when you do begin to stutter.
Let out the tension. Why do people stutter? Often times people who stutter have a hard time recovering once they do begin to stutter. It can be helpful to stop the stutter by saying “Aa” or “Grrr”. This will break up the stutter and allow you to continue.
Be optimistic. Visualizing and taking a few deep breaths in through the nose can help put you in the right frame of mind. Many people may notice that their fear of stutter will often cause them to stutter more. When you are about to speak, be optimistic and visualize yourself speaking clearly. This will allow you to feel less nervous, which can avoid more stuttering.
Rhythm. You may notice that when you sing, you don't tend to stutter. This is because the words are often prolonged when you sing. Try adding some rhythm to your speech so that the words are easier to deliver and you may find your stutter disappears.