Why Do People Stutter?

Do you know someone who stutters? What causes stuttering and why do people stutter? There are several medical conditions, diseases, and disorders associated with stuttering. Stuttering, also known as stammering, is a speech disorder that has no known cause, apart from the role that genetics plays. It is a disorder in which the flow of speech is impaired by uncontrollable word repetitions and prolongations of syllables, sounds, or phrases. Stuttering is also characterized by involuntary silent pauses, in which the stutterer is not able to produce a sound.

So, why do people stutter? Stuttering could be passed on genetically. A child’s likelihood to develop stuttering is three times greater in those who have a first-degree relative who stutters. However, 40%-70% of stutterers do not have a history of stammering in their family. Although genetics is a large contributor in developing stammering, environmental factors are a huge influence as well. Highly stressful situations can promote high levels of anxiety, thus causing one to stutter uncontrollably.

In the past, people have contemplated on the answer to the question “why do people stutter?” with silly and ridiculous answers, such as bad eating habits during breastfeeding, tickling a baby too much, trimming a child’s hair before he utters his first word, or making the baby look into the mirror. With all the studies going on today in an attempt to better understand the phenomenon of stuttering, we can be grateful that there is more valuable information and knowledge on the subject than there once was.

A child usually begins stuttering around the age of three, and in almost 80% of these cases, stuttering will gradually fade over the years, or at least by the time the child reaches his teen years. For children who seem to continue their stuttering through their teen years, there are ample therapies available to help them cope with the problem.

The question “why do people stutter?” would not only drive you to seek the answers on the causes of this disorder. It will also make you look for answers on how to treat this problem since this can significantly lower your self-esteem and make your social interactions difficult to manage. It is important to get into the roots of the disorder before treating it. Medical treatment for those who developed stammering due to a traumatic physical experience may be different from those who stammered from birth, or developed it over time.

Among the treatments available in addressing stuttering problems are fluency shaping therapy, stuttering modification therapy, and electronic fluency devices. Aside from therapy, anti-stuttering medications can be administered to treat stammering. The downside for taking these medications, however, is weight gain and increase in blood pressure.

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