Why Do Some People Stutter?

Most everyone is able to speak normally without realizing just what a complicated procedure it really is and what amazing coordination is required by your larynx, cheeks, tongue, and lips to get the words out. It is when this coordination is not working properly that a person stutters or stammers.

In one form of stuttering, the speaker cannot say a word clearly. Spasms occur in the speech muscles and the last sound that the speaker made is repeated over and over. So, instead of saying “mother,” the stutterer says “m-m-m-mother.”

In another, more serious, form of stuttering, the muscles in the tongue, throat, and face have spasms, and while all the face muscles are working to make the sound, no words come out. The stutterer’s face is then seen in twisted shapes.

Although doctors are not certain exactly what causes stuttering, they feel that it can be a physical or an emotional problem. In either case, stuttering can usually be corrected by special instruction in reading and speaking. The stutterer is taught to read and speak slowly and carefully, and breathe regularly while speaking. Many young children who stutter often outgrow the problem when they get older.

The kindest way to help someone who stutters is to listen with patience and understanding. People who make fun of this disability not only are being cruel, but can cause the stutterer to stutter more.

Stuttering is 4 to 6 times more common in boys than in girls!