Stuttering is a speech disorder characterized by repetition of sounds, syllables, or words, prolongation of sounds, and interruptions in speech known as blocks. An individual who stutters exactly knows what he or she would like to say but has trouble producing a normal flow of speech. For example, a person may repeat the same consonant, like “K,” “G,” or “T.” They may have difficulty uttering certain sounds or starting a sentence.
The stress caused by stuttering may show up in the following symptoms:
- physical changes like facial tics, lip tremors, excessive eye blinking, and tension in the face and upper body
- frustration when attempting to communicate
- hesitation or pausing before starting to speak
- refusal to speak
- interjections of extra sounds or words into sentences, such as “uh” or “um”
- repetition of words or phrases
- tension in the voice
- rearrangement of words in a sentence
- making long sounds with words, such as “My name is Amaaaaaaanda”
Some children may not be aware that they stutter. Social settings and high-stress environments can increase the likelihood that a person will stutter. Public speaking can be challenging for those who stutter. These speech disruptions may be accompanied by struggle behaviors, such as rapid eye blinks or tremors of the lips. Stuttering can make it difficult to communicate with other people, which often affects a person’s quality of life and interpersonal relationships.
Cure and how to take care of the person:
A speech language pathologist can help diagnose stuttering. No invasive testing is necessary. Typically, you or your child can describe stuttering symptoms, and a speech language pathologist can evaluate the degree to which you or your child stutters. Not all children who stutter will require treatment because developmental stuttering usually resolves with time. Speech therapy is an option for some children.
Speech therapy: Speech therapy can reduce interruptions in speech and improve your child’s self-esteem. Therapy often focuses on controlling speech patterns by encouraging your child to monitor their rate of speech, breath support, and laryngeal tension. The best candidates for speech therapy include those who:
- have stuttered for three to six months
- have pronounced stuttering
- struggle with stuttering or experience emotional difficulties because of stuttering
- have a family history of stuttering
Parents can also use therapeutic techniques to help their child feel less self-conscious about stuttering. Listening patiently is important, as is setting aside the time for talking. A speech therapist can help parents learn when it’s appropriate to correct a child’s stuttering.
Other treatments: Electronic devices may be used to treat stuttering. One type encourages children to speak more slowly by playing back an altered recording of their voice when they speak quickly. Other devices are worn, like hearing aids, and they can create distracting background noise that’s known to help reduce stuttering.
There are no medications that have yet been proven to reduce stuttering episodes. Although not proven, recent research suggests there is hyperactivity of the muscles affecting speech and medications to slow the hyperactivity may be helpful. Alternative therapies like acupuncture, electric brain stimulation, and breathing techniques have been researched but don’t appear to be effective. Whether or not you decide to seek treatment, creating a low-stress environment can help reduce stuttering. Support groups for you and your child are also available.
Hrithik Roshan is one of the biggest movie stars in Bollywood, and many cinema critics feel that Roshan could be the first Bollywood star to make the transition to Hollywood star. While being a major star in Indian cinema, Hrithik Roshan has always spoken openly of his stammering and that he went through speech therapy to speak fluently, not to mention that he still does speech exercises every day. So affected he was by his stuttering, that he has donated generously to a children’s hospital for a speech therapy wing, which has put the spotlight on stuttering in the Indian media.