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Disease: Stuttering Stuttering
Category: Psychiatric diseases
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Disease Definition:

The speech disorder in which a person repeats or prolongs a word, phrase or syllable, or stops during speech and doesn't make a sound for certain syllables is called stammering or stuttering.

Some of the factors that may cause stuttering to become worse are fatigue, stress and excitement. It may also occur when a person is talking on the telephone, giving a presentation or during other situations when he/she is self-conscious about speaking. Usually, when the person is relaxed, stuttering decreases.

When children are learning to speak, stuttering is quite common. Speech therapy helps decrease stuttering if the condition persists, but usually, stuttering goes away on its own.

In order to help a child overcome stuttering, parents should provide a relaxed and calm atmosphere at home allowing the child to speak freely, and they shouldn't focus on his/her stuttering.

Work Group:

Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


Some of the signs and symptoms of stuttering may include the repetition of a sound, syllable or word; or having difficulty starting a word, sentence or phrase.

Some of the problems that may accompany stuttering include:

-Tremors of the lips or jaw
-Rapid eye blinks
-Tension, tightness or movement of the face or upper body

Stuttering is quite common in children between the ages of 2 and 5, when they are still learning how to talk. Most children outgrow this stuttering. However, parents should consult a doctor in case their child's stuttering:

-Is accompanied with facial tension or tightness
-Lasts more than six months
-Is accompanied with other facial or body movements
-Becomes more frequent
-Causes emotional problems, such as fear or avoidance of situations in which the child has to speak
-Affects his/her social interactions or schoolwork
-Becomes noticeable first in early school age when the child begins to read aloud
-Continues beyond the age of 5


Although the exact cause of stuttering isn't known, there are some factors that may end up causing stuttering, such as:

Stuttering may have an underlying genetic cause because it usually runs in families.

Language development:
When the speech and language abilities of young children aren't developed enough to keep up with what they want to say, they may stutter; this is called developmental stuttering. Within four years, most children outgrow developmental stuttering.

Signal difficulties:
When the signals between a person's brain and the nerves and muscles that control speech don't work properly neurological stuttering occurs. Children as well as people who've had a stroke or other brain injury may develop this type of stuttering. In some rare cases, structural abnormalities (lesions) in the motor speech area of the brain may cause neurological stuttering.

When people who stutter talk to themselves, sing or speak in unison with someone else, they don't stutter, the cause of which is still not known.

Factors that increase the risk of stuttering include:

•Gender. Boys are much more likely to stutter than girls.

•Family history. Stuttering tends to run in families, though scientists haven’t identified the gene associated with stuttering yet.



Fearing public speaking, or in some severe cases of stuttering, avoiding speaking entirely are some of the social difficulties that are associated with this condition.


There haven't been any medications that have proven to be helpful for stuttering, despite the fact that some medications have been tried for this problem. In most cases, treatment isn't needed, because children usually outgrow their stuttering. In any case, stuttering has no cure. Speech therapy may help decrease stuttering in case a child's stuttering lasts longer than six months or beyond the age of 5.

This method includes the parents. It involves slowing the speech and praising the child for speaking fluently. This is one of the common treatment methods that usually proves effective for early stuttering in preschoolers.

This method teaches the child to monitor his/her stuttering and slow his/her speech. Over time, with the help of a speech therapist, children usually work up to a more natural speech rate, despite the fact that they deliberately speak very slowly when they begin this treatment.

Delayed auditory feedback is one of the many devices that are available for stuttering people. This machine distorts the child’s speech unless he/she speaks slowly. There's yet another machine that imitates the speech of the child so that it sounds as if the child is talking in unison with someone else.


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