What Causes Stuttering?

Stuttering is a communication disorder in which the flow of speech is broken by repetitions, prolongations or abnormal stoppages of sound, syllables, words or phrases as well as involuntary silent pauses or blocks in which the person who stutters is unable to produce sounds. There may also be unusual facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak. Stuttering can also be referred to as stammering.

So what causes stuttering?

Although the exact cause of stuttering is not know, there are various theories that propose multiple factors that contribute to stuttering. One theory suggests that stuttering is a psychological problem, which stuttering is an underlying problem that can be treated with psychotherapy. Another theory proposes that the cause of stuttering is organic, that neurological differences exist between the brains of those who stutter and those who don’t. Although the interference with speech is sometimes triggered by emotional or situational factors, stuttering is basically neurological and physiological-not psychological in nature. In all other respects, a person who stutters can be perfectly normal.

In some indications genetic factors are involved in the development of stuttering and subsequent recovery, as shown by various studies done on families and twins. It is not known to what degree stuttering is dependent on genetic factors, on environmental factors or on both. The most common type of stuttering, which can be called developmental stuttering, usually develops of its own accord in childhood, most often between the ages of 2-8. Roughly about 4-5 per cent of people experience stuttering at some time during their childhood, while the majority become fluent by the time they reach adulthood.

Stuttering may occur when a combination of factors come together and may have different causes in different people. It is probable that what causes stuttering differs from what makes it continue or get worse.

AmandaAmanda Ogden is from Sydney Australia, and has spent the past 13 years working within the welfare industry in both administration and case management assisting people with mental health issues, mild intellectual disabilities, acquired brain injuries, drug & alcohol, homelessness gain employment. She also loves travelling, creating jewellery, music, friends and family.

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