Navigation Links
Early Intervention Holds Hope for Those Who Stutter
Date:5/27/2011

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Stuttering may seem simple enough. People who stutter cannot get words out properly. They repeat or prolong sounds or syllables, sometimes appearing to physically struggle to speak.

But the problem is much more complex than that, involving factors as disparate as genetics, emotion, brain activity, motor control and language, said Jane Fraser, president of the Stuttering Foundation of America.

"There are so many factors involved in saying one word, it is the most complex thing we do," Fraser said. "There's nothing we do as humans more complex than speaking."

Stuttering took center stage recently with the popularity and critical success of "The King's Speech," which was awarded the "best picture" Oscar at this year's Academy Awards. The movie has brought new attention to the problem of stuttering, which affects roughly 3 million Americans, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Experts' understanding of stuttering has evolved considerably from days past, when most people thought the problem was all in the stutterers' heads.

"In light of 'The King's Speech,' certainly in the '30s and '40s, I think people thought in general stuttering was a psychological problem," Fraser said. "If you had enough willpower, you could just get on top of it. My father and his brother both stuttered, and both were punished for stuttering. People thought they could spank it out of you, and in his and his brother's case, it just made it worse."

Doctors have since identified four factors that can influence a person's chance of developing a stutter, according to the Stuttering Foundation:

  • Genetics. About three of every five people who stutter have a family member with the same problem.
  • Child development. Children with early speech or language problems, or some other form of developmental delay, are more likely to stutter.
  • Neurophysiology. Researchers have found that people who stutter process speech and language differently than people without a stutter.
  • Family dynamics. Pressure to succeed and a fast-paced lifestyle can prompt stuttering in some people.

"Stutterers are more vulnerable to a breakdown in the system that includes everything from thinking the thought to translating the thought into actual speaking," Fraser said.

Therapies for stuttering also have advanced as understanding of the disorder has grown, said Fraser and Tommie L. Robinson Jr., immediate past president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and a therapist at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Today, people who stutter receive speech therapy as well as therapy that attempts to get to the psychological or neurophysiological issues that make them more apt to struggle with their speech, Fraser and Robinson said.

Because of this, it is crucial that a stutterer develop a healthy relationship with his or her therapist, one that goes far beyond teaching techniques to get around a blocked word or sound, Robinson said.

"They've got to be able to talk about what they're feeling, what's going on inside," he said.

Therefore, psychotherapeutic techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy are valued just as highly as speech therapy tactics that teach stutterers to speak more slowly and use tricks to get past blocked sounds or syllables, Fraser said.

Early intervention is also important, Robinson said. The most common form of stuttering develops in early childhood, when a child is learning how to translate thoughts into words, according to the NIH. Developmental stuttering occurs when a child's speech and language abilities can't keep pace with verbal demands placed on the child.

"If we intervene with people early, we can teach parents to slow their speech and minimize the pressure placed on their kids," Robinson said. "That is the best thing."

More information

The U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has more on stuttering.

SOURCES: Jane Fraser, president, Stuttering Foundation of America, Memphis, Tenn.; Tommie L. Robinson Jr., Ph.D., hearing and speech therapist, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, D.C.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Health reform essential to young adults: Nearly half cant afford needed health care
2. Fat Transfer Gets Early Safety OK in Breast Reconstruction
3. Capacity for Commitment May Start in Early Childhood
4. Studies show Vectra(TM) DA can track early response to rheumatoid arthritis therapy
5. IUPUI study first to look at early treatment of depression to reduce heart disease risk
6. States should be allowed to implement key health reform law provisions early, experts say
7. Common test could help predict early death in diabetes, study shows
8. Massachusetts Study Shows Sharp Rise in Early Autism Diagnoses
9. Early Adversity May Shorten Childs Life
10. Research Shows Early Onset Alzheimers Disease Sometimes Missed
11. Detecting lung cancer early
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Early Intervention Holds Hope for Those Who Stutter
(Date:4/28/2017)... NJ (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... Horizon ... has affirmed the company’s credit rating of “A” and its outlook as “stable.” At ... if capital reserves, which have fallen in recent years, dip below “capital adequacy” thresholds ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 ... ... Medical Laboratory to expanded distribution of the GlycoMark test throughout the Northeast U.S. ... recent hyperglycemia in patients with diabetes. The GlycoMark test provides a clinically proven ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Ushio America proudly introduces the new ... solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps on most instant-start and programmed-start electronic ballasts so ... lamps utilize the existing electronic ballast, saving labor and maintenance costs. It’s easy ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... New york (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 ... ... pleased to announce that Aditya Patel M.D. has joined the revolutionary endoscopic practice ... training and board certification in Interventional Pain Medicine. The patented, revolutionary eDiscSculpt Technique ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Texas Cord Blood Bank (TCBB), a program of nonprofit ... at Women’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg for their outstanding efforts in collecting umbilical ... to donate. , “Women’s Hospital at Renaissance has been a collection partner for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  Cogentix Medical, ... focused on providing the Urology, Uro/Gyn and Gynecology ... that Ash Keswani has joined the Company as ... this newly created position, Mr. Keswani will report ... CEO. "Our organization is delighted that ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... 20, 2017  RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), ... address significant unmet medical needs, today announced that ... consumer product development program, based on its proprietary ... Investigative Dermatology (SID) 76 th Annual Meeting.  ... the sciences relevant to skin health and disease ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017  AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), ... percent (n=145/146) of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) ... or 6 and compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) achieved ... 12 ) with its investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of ... were seen following 12 weeks of G/P treatment ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: