Stammering is a phonological disorder in which a person speaks with sudden involuntary pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words. It’s also known as by the disorder of fluency which is characterized by various behaviors that interfere with the flow of speech.
Sometimes stammering characterized by repetition, pauses’ and prolongation that differ in numbers and severity from those normal individual to problematic ones.Stammering is not only the speech dysfunction but this also a serious communication problem which seriously affects the person self esteem, interaction with others and hampers the educational and professional potentials.
- Problems starting a word, phrase or sentence.
- Feeling frustrated when trying to communicate.
- Utting in (interjecting) extra sounds or words (“We went to the…uh…store”)
- Repeating sounds, words, parts of words, or phrases (“I want…I want my doll,” “I…I see you,” or “Ca-ca-ca-can”)
- Trembling jaws.
- Some may appear out of breath when talking.
- Eye blinking.
- Some people who stutter find that they don’t stutter when they read aloud or sing.
- Foot may tap
The following factors may also trigger/cause stuttering:
- In Developmental stuttering children learn to speak they often stutter, until their speech and language skills are not developed fully.
- In Neurogenic stuttering the signals between the brain and speech nerves and muscles are not working properly. In rare cases neurogenic stuttering results in lesions (abnormal tissue) in the motor speech area of the brain.
- According to psychological factor stuttering worse in stress, embarrassment, etc. In other words, anxiety, low self-esteem, nervousness, and stress therefore do not cause stuttering per se. Rather, they are the result of living with a stigmatized speech problem which can sometimes make symptoms worse.
Fluency shaping therapy
Learn to control and monitor speech rate which includes practicing smooth, fluent speech at very slow speed, with the help of using short sentences and phrases. The person is learns to stretch vowels and consonants, by maintaining continuous airflow. With continuous practice the person gradually utters smooth speech at higher speed, and then gradually with longer sentences and phrases.
During prolongation of speech person learn to control breathing added to this is operant conditioning (controlling breathing, as well as phonation, and articulation (lips, jaw and tongue).
Stuttering modification therapy
- The aim here is to modify the stuttering so that it is easier and requires less of an effort, rather than eliminating it. This therapy works on the principle that if anxiety exacerbates stuttering, using easier stuttering with less avoidance and fear will alleviate the stuttering. Charles Van Riper developed Block Modification Therapy in 1973; it includes four stages:
- Stage 1 (Identification) – the therapist and the patient identify the core behaviors, secondary behaviors, and
- Stage 2 (Desensitization) – the patient freezes stuttering behavior in an attempt to reduce fear and anxiety – this involves confronting difficult sounds, words and situations (rather than avoiding them), and stuttering intentionally (voluntary stuttering).
- Stage 3 (Modification) – the patient learns easy stuttering. He/she learns how to apply: a) ‘cancellations’ – stopping a dysfluency, pausing for a moment, and then repeating the word, b) ‘pull-outs’- pulling out of a dysfluency into fluent speech, c) and ‘preparatory sets’ – anticipating words that cause stuttering and using ‘easy stuttering’ on those words.
- Stage 4 (Stabilization) – the patient prepares practice assignments, makes preparatory sets and pull-outs automatic, and changes the way he/she sees himself/herself from being a stutterer to being a person who speaks fluently most of the time, but stutters mildly occasionally.