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What is Stammering / Stuttering?

Stammering and stuttering are two different words that are used to describe the same condition. Generally speaking 'stuttering' is used more commonly in North America and Australia, while in Britain we tend to use the word 'stammering'.

We do not know what causes stammering, but research shows that a combination of factors is involved. Stammering affects four times as many men as women. Statistics show us that approximately 500,000 plus adults in the U.K. stammer, which is about 1% of the adult population.

It is vital to recognise that everyone who stammers is different, and stammers differently. Everyone is an individual and any therapy or training must respect your individuality. Therefore, every person who stammers is potentially an expert on their own stammering. Recognising and always respecting these very important facts is the foundation to The Starfish Project and its success in helping people in their recovery from stammering.

Stammering is a disorder of fluency that is characterised by various behaviours that interfere with the forward flow of speech. While all individuals are disfluent to some extent, what differentiates stammerers from non-stammerers is the frequency of their disfluency and/or the severity of their disfluency. However, the other factor that differentiates stammerers from non-stammerers is that almost invariably the disfluencies that the stammerer regards as "stammering" are accompanied by a feeling of loss of control. It is this loss of control, which can't be observed or experienced by the listener, that is generally most problematic for the stammerer.
(This excellent short definition of stammering was written by Robert W. Quesal, Ph.D.Western Illinois University and is reproduced here with his permission.) his web site is :- www.wiu.edu/users/mfrwq

Stammering - is generally characterized by repetitions (sounds, syllables, part-words, whole words, phrases), pauses, and prolongations that differ in number and severity from those of 'normally fluent' individuals.Whilst other disorders are characterised by disfluent speech, the patterns of disfluency in these other disorders differ from that seen in developmental stammering.

Stammering - however, is not simply a speech difficulty, it is a serious communication problem. It can undermine a person's self-esteem; affect their interaction with others; impede their education and seriously hamper employment potential.



Stammering Facts

  • Stammering and stuttering are two different words that are used to describe the same condition.Generally speaking 'stuttering' is used more commonly in North America and Australia, while in Britain we tend to use the word 'stammering'.
  • Stammering is universal - in all countries of the world and all groups equally.
  • There are an estimated 500,000 plus adult stammerers in the UK that is 1% of the adult population, over 3 million stammer in the USA and some 45 million in the world.
  • More males than females stammer a ratio of 4 or 5 to one.
  • Stammering in nearly all cases begins in childhood -- from 2 to 5 when language is being learned. It cannot be said to begin at birth.
  • There is no known cause, certainly no single cause for stammering but a combination of different factors are involved.
  • Stammering varies from time to time -- Cyclic variation.
  • Fluency is never perfect for anyone, just listen closely to the dysfluency of most so called 'fluent' speakers.
  • Recoveries are never quick -- rather gradual, with ups and downs.
  • There are no special or impossible words or sounds for stammerers -- only those which have become feared.
  • 'Authority' figures are usually most difficult to talk to ( headmaster syndrome).
  • Time pressure increases stammering.
  • Demands for explanations increase stammering.
  • Excitement, confusion, fatigue and uncertainty, increase stammering.
  • Stammering is influenced by behavioural factors but it is NOT caused by an emotional problem or a nervous disorder.
  • Praising fluency does not help; it implies that stammering is bad.
  • No two stammerers are the same, everyone who stammers is different and stammers differently, all stammerers are individuals and deserve to be treated as individuals.
  • At this time all leading experts agree, that , unfortunately, THERE IS NO CURE FOR STAMMERING, and people who stammer should beware of and avoid any therapy that offers a CURE.

However, there is therapy available from The Starfish Project that provides sustainable and effective solutions for controlling stammering (stuttering).

AND BY THE WAY

Stammering / Stuttering IS NOT caused by :-

  • The mother eating incorrect foods when breast feeding the infant.
  • Allowing an infant to look in the mirror.
  • Tickling the child's soles of the feet.
  • Cutting the child's hair before he/she says his/her first words.
  • The mother seeing a snake during pregnancy.
  • The mother dropping a baby.
  • The child being scared as a baby.
  • The child being bitten by a dog.
  • The work of the devil.

And a hundred and one other stupid old tales.

There is no known cause, certainly no single cause for stammering, but a combination of different factors are involved.

THERE IS NO CURE FOR STAMMERING .

People who stammer should beware of and avoid any therapy that offers a CURE. However, there is therapy available that provides sustainable and effective solutions to control stammering (stuttering).