“Stuttering can have a profound emotional impact on one’s life. In making WHEN I STUTTER, I was astounded by the honesty and candor with which the interviewees express themselves. From the depths of hopelessness to the heights of redemption, these stories will change how you view stuttering.”
John Gomez – Director, WHEN I STUTTER
Stuttering is a speech disorder in which the flow of speech is disrupted by repetitions, blocks, and prolongation of sounds. A person who stutters can also have secondary behaviors which can manifest in a variety of ways throughout the body (e.g., stomping the foot, jaw trembling, jerking the neck).
Perhaps, the most important element of stuttering is the emotional and psychological impact that it can have on one’s life. These effects can be significant. Stuttering affects about 1% of the population worldwide (approximately 70 million people).
The cause of stuttering is uncertain at this time. Studies have been conducted and are ongoing, however, there is no definitive explanation for the cause of stuttering that applies to everyone. Research has told us that there is a genetic component to stuttering. Therefore, if you stutter, there is a chance that your children may stutter as well.
While there is no cure for stuttering, there are many approaches and philosophies that can help. The aspect of ACTIVE LISTENING is an element that should be employed when talking to a person who stutters. Interrupting a person who stutters or even finishing their sentence is, oftentimes, not helpful and undesired. Just conveying that you are there to listen is GREATLY appreciated.
Finding a good speech therapist can also be helpful in one’s journey. The Specialty Board on Fluency Disorders and the Stuttering Foundation (United States list, International list) each maintain a referral list of speech therapists who have advanced training in stuttering.
Participating in support groups can be extremely beneficial in that they offer people who stutter the chance to share their experiences with others who stutter. The National Stuttering Association provides nearly 200 local support groups throughout the United States for adults, teens, and children.