Speech Therapy

Stammering and Stuttering-Is There Any Difference?

Many people are of the notion that stammering is a birth disorder and stuttering is something picked up during mid-life owing to tense or nervous moments. But, both stammering and stuttering are one and the same. In fact, these two words are synonyms and people tend to use these words often interchanging them.

Stammering and Stuttering: A speech or communication disorder- a person’s flow of words or speech is severely obstructed in the form of

  1. frequent repetition of the same word
  2. prolonging the same word with an additional sound
  3. a sudden pause during speech leading to difficulty in producing the next word.
  • This particular speech disorder also leads to several unusual facial gestures because of the extra effort being put to produce speech.
  • Stammering in a person may not be at all times, it might come and go depending on the situation.
  • Stuttering and stammering can have a lot of emotional impact on person who suffers from it.

Causes of this Speech Disorder: One of the most common phenomenon in the United States, almost 20 percent children stutter or stammer for at least 6 months before growing out of it. Only a meagre 1 percent of the children would carry the disorder into adulthood. Let us look at what causes this problem.

Genetic: Quiet often stammering runs in a family. The gene responsible for this problem might be transmitted to the next generations causing a slight dysfunction in the brain that would lead to improper receiving and production of sound.

Developmental: Some children during the earlier stages of learning might not be able to keep up with the vocabulary activities. Their brain would just not be ready to tackle this issue which would result in stuttering. But, this problem slowly fades away as one grows.

Psychological: Though psychological problems such as anxiety, low self-esteem, family issues et. may not lead to stuttering but can aggravate an already existing speech problem.

Stammering and stuttering can be corrected if tackled at an early age. Seeing a speech therapist in childhood would help one recover from the problem. Generally adults with this problem cannot be cured.

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