A stammer is a fluency disorder which can affect both adults and children. In adults, it is usually something which they have developed at a younger age, however not always. A stammer affects the smooth timing and flowing of speech through disruptions and stops in speech flow.
What is a stammer?
A stammer is a disturbance in fluency which affects the smooth flow and the timing of speech. Stammers can either be a stop in speech flow or a disturbance. Stops tend to be repetitions of sounds, words or syllables. Sounds may also be prolonged. An individual who stammers may appear to have tense or jerky speech. They may also have developed avoidance techniques for certain words or situations within which they know will be difficult for them. The type of stutter someone has will depend upon the individual and their circumstances and triggers.
What different types of stammer are there?
There are many different types of stammer and severity will depend upon the individual and what type of stammer they have. Some of the most common forms of stammer are listed below:
- Developmental: this occurs in children at a young age when they are developing speech usually around the ages of 1-4years.
- Neurogenic: brain and nerve signal problems.
- Psychogenic: thought and reasoning areas of the brain is where it starts and is commonly found in people who suffer from mental illness, excessive stress or have been subjected to a lot of distress.
What causes stammering?
The exact cause of stammering is unknown however research has shown that genetic factors may influence whether an individual stammers or not. Therefore if someone has a relative that stammers they may be more susceptible to stammering. However, stammering could also be caused by brain injury that has damaged certain areas of the speech output region of the brain.
Speech and Language Therapy for Stammers
Speech and language therapy for stammers will depend upon the individual concerned and will vary depending upon the severity of the stammer. Our speech and language therapists will be able to advise individuals of different techniques and methods to control the stammer in different situations. Direct therapy is often the best approach for a stammer which is persistent and is still apparent in adulthood. This direct therapy approach can include using specialist devices which change the voice quality of speakers. This helps the individual to focus on individual aspects of speech and may playback the voice at a delayed rate or at a different frequency to enable them to focus on, and become aware of their own voice. Our speech and language therapists at Manchester SLT will also give individuals advice on how to slow down their rate of speech as well as how to control their breathing. This is an effective starting point for individuals who stammer.
Benefits of speech and language therapy for a stammer
The benefits of speech and language therapy for individuals who stammer can be life changing. The following are some of the most common benefits and will depend upon the individual concerned:
- Manageable stammer.
- Increased self-esteem and confidence.
- Increase in intelligibility.
- Higher awareness of when and where stammering behaviour is more prevalent and how to prevent it occurring.
- Techniques to control stammer.
- Reduced anxiety associated with the stammer.
- Reduced frustration and anxiety levels.
- Increased social skills and willingness to interact with others.
How does stammering affect people?
Stammering can range from mild to severe and will very much depend upon the individual as to how it will affect everyday life. It will also depend upon the situation the individual is faced with, and may change depending on the level of stress and situation.
Although stammering affects speech, it is a serious communication problem as it can affect an individual's confidence and self-esteem. This can then have an effect on an individual's relationships with other people and can also affect their work and education.
How do I arrange an appointment with a speech and language therapist?
To arrange an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists at Manchester SLT, or if you would like more information about stammering and therapy, please contact us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or calling: 0161 883 0111.Back to Top