In our October 2018 issue of Wellness for Generations newsletter, we arm you with knowledge about cancer, speech disorders and skin well as the best family activities during the month! Also this month, we look closer at Childhood Stuttering and offer suggestions to help your child with this speech disorder. Read the article below or check out the entire issue here.

Stuttering is a challenge for anyone, but children, especially struggle with school participation and possibly harsh teasing from their peers. Stuttering is a speech disorder — one we still have much to learn about. More than 3 million people in the U.S. stutter, though it occurs mostly in children as they develop their speaking skills. About 75 percent of children outgrow stuttering, but for the rest, this speaking disorder can present a lifelong challenge.

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering refers to a speech disorder in which the speaker may repeat sounds, syllables, or words. He or she may also have interrupted speech. Most people who stutter know what they want to say but they have trouble producing what we’d think of as a “normal” speech flow. People who stutter may also have lip tremors or blink rapidly. Some people stutter only occasionally, while others struggle throughout the day. Speaking before a group may make stuttering worse. Stuttering affects job opportunities as well as relationships.

We still don’t know exactly what causes stuttering, though the causes are divided into two groups: developmental and neurogenic. The first is stuttering that starts as a child, while neurogenic stuttering is caused by a brain injury, stroke, or head trauma.

Myths about Stuttering

  • Emotional trauma can cause stuttering. People once thought stuttering was caused by emotional trauma, but we know now that is not true.
  • There is a cure for stuttering. There is not one magical cure for stuttering. Therapy and medicine may help, and it’s best to start early. Early treatment of stuttering at home, including parent encouragement of the child speaking, helps dramatically.
  • Nervousness or stress can cause stuttering. These may aggravate a person’s stutter, but they alone cannot cause a person to stutter.
  • You can help a person who stutters by encouraging him/her to “take a deep breath” before speaking. Doing this may make the person’s stutter worse, for you are making him/her self-conscious.

Did You Know? Famous People who Stuttered

Stuttering affects many people and of course, many of them go on to lead healthy, happy lives — even with careers that require speaking. Some famous people who stuttered include:

  • Actor and Tony Award winner James Earl Jones
  • Actress Emily Blunt
  • TV personality John Stossel
  • Basketball player Bill Walton
  • Winston Churchill
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Singer Carly Simon
  • King George VI

If you think your child is stuttering, start here and contact your doctor at Generations Family Practice for further help (919-852-3999).