Stuttering Or Stammering – Causes, Treatments {All You Need To Know}

What is Stuttering or Stammering?

Stammer and Stutter are two different words with the same meaning and both terms are used in speech therapy. Stammering is a disease that is defined via various behaviors that interfere with the forward flow of speech. A stutter is a type of speech disorder when your speech is involuntarily broken up by repetitive sounds or blocks where you can’t quite say the sounds you want to.

70 million people stutter worldwideMostly stuttering starts in children of an early age when a child develops its speaking skills. Stuttering affects about 5 percent of children aged 2 to 5. If you start to stutter in adulthood, you should take it seriously and consult with a doctor.

People who stutter may escape certain words or situations which they know will cause them difficulty. Have you ever had a difficult time organizing your words when you had to speak in front of a large audience? Normally, even fluent speakers can display messy speech when nervous.

Difference between Stammering and Stuttering

Some people might get confused between these two words. But, these are just two different words which are used to describe the same problem of an individual. ‘Stuttering’ is used more commonly in North America and Australia, while in Britain ‘stammering is mostly used.

There is no difference between “stammering” and “stuttering.” It is only a controversial difference, like saying “biscuits” instead of “cookies.”


Symptoms of Stuttering

Stuttering reflects the following symptoms which are as follows:

  • Shaking of the jaw
  • Face becoming red
  • The tension in the voice and face
  • Repetition of words or phrases
  • Rapid blinking of eyes while speaking
  • Addition of extra sounds between words.
  • Difficulty in starting a word.
  • Prolonging a word or sounds within a word.

Other things that happen because of stuttering:

  • It consumes a lot of energy (both physical as well as mental). Hence, a person finds it difficult to breathe and may even end up tensing up his/her neck, mouth, or hand muscles.
  • It is frustrating and embarrassing, and an individual often finds himself getting nervous before speaking.
  • Peer pressure or constant bullying from strangers leads to a person trying to get rid of stuttering as quickly as possible, this sometimes worsens the situation. The person has to be patient while dealing with this problem.

How do people develop a Stutter?

Some general causes are:

  • Inability to control the muscles of the speech organ
  • Genetic disorder.
  • Anxiety, stress, and shame
  • Neuromuscular problems
  • Difficulty in the movement of the tongue and lips

Experts are also researching for the cause of the stuttering occurs in a child.


Research also believes that most of the stuttering occurs due to genetic. If you are suffering from the stuttering problem then there must be one of your family member stutters. 60 percent of people go with this genetic problem.

Development stuttering:

This occurs in very small children mostly 18months-2years. When they started learning about speech and learning skills, the stuttering occurs in a temporary manner. It is not for the permanent thing, it fades away when the child grows up in the next phase.

Neurological stuttering:

This mostly occurs when your speech nerves and the muscles are not working properly. This mostly affects the children but sometimes it also affects the adults after a stroke or some severe brain accidents like head trauma, tumors, ischemic tumors.

Psychogenic stuttering

It is defined as stuttering that results from a traumatic event. Because of that fact, we usually see this developing in adulthood. If anyone experiences a psychological disturbance or emotionally traumatic event, the result may be psychogenic stuttering.

There are many different approaches available to treat children and adults who stutter. Treatments for people who stutter include learning person skills, strategies, and behaviors that help oral communication. Treatment may not eliminate all stuttering, but it can teach skills that help to:

  • Improve speech fluency
  • Develop effective communication
  • Participate fully in school, work and social activities

Read more:- How does a stammer affect communication?

Why people stutter or stammer?

Well, the Broca’s area is associated with speech formation, alongside another part of the brain called the Wernicke’s area in the temporal lobe. They are part of the “neural language loop”, and are both necessary to produce clear and concise speech.

broca's area and Wernicke's areaThe Wernicke’s area is the part where you choose which words you want to say and in which order. It’s like a behind the scenes blueprint or a storyboard for your speech. This information is then fed into the Broca’s area which produces those words out loud, like a word factory.

For stutterers, their Wernicke’s area is able to put together the sentences, while the Broca’s area struggles to produce it. The worst part of this is that in society, people with stutters are often thought to be dumber, simply because they can’t get the words out when in reality, they are no less intelligent or eloquent than their non-stuttering counterparts.

Another study recently published in JAMA Psychiatry looked at the brains of 94 stuttering and non-stuttering children and adults. They found that the baseline brain activity – the way neurons fired signals – was different for stutterers in the regions of the brain associated with the regulation of speech production, attention, and emotion.

So the root causes of stuttering could be differences in brain circuits and blood flow. But stress and anxiety can also take a toll, making stuttering worse, because the parts of your brain associated with attention and language processing interact with the parts of your brain that regulate emotion.

Stuttering is a complicated condition, without any easy fixes. Those who suffer from it may be able to curb the tendency with the help of a speech therapist, and for others, like children, it may go away on its own. But these new developments certainly help point to the parts of the brain in question and may help scientists develop new solutions.

Type of Stutters

  • Sound or Syllable Repetition:- Repeating the first sound, or a few sounds of a word. ( H/h/h/h/he or Tha/Tha/thanks)
  • Whole word Repetitions:- Saying a word more than one time. (The/The/The)
  • Multiple Word Repetitions:-  Saying more than one word more than one time. (He went/He went/He went)
  • Prolongations:- Getting Stuck of the first sound of a word for a few seconds. (Mmmmmmmmonkey)
  • Blocks:- Getting stuck when the first sound of a word won’t come out. (____________________Two)
  • Insertions:- Adding extra words in the middle of sentences. (Um or Uh)

Types of Stammering in adults

Neurogenic stammering:-

Speech issues that are associated with a minor stroke may additionally only last for a few hours, however, they have to no longer be ignored. You should take medical recommendation straight away.

Drug-related stammering:-  

According to an article on an “Alcoholism drug”, drug-related stammering will almost certainly disappear completely if you stop using that drug.

Individual cause of stammering:-

However, but, if no cause is identifiable, that is called idiopathic stammering, this means that it relates only to the person worried and does not fall into any other category.

Stress-related stammering:-.

Common reason of stress include a major bereavement or loss of a relationship, but almost any unexpected emotional challenge can be a trigger for a speech problem.

Re-occurrence of a childhood stutter:-

Some people start stammering in early childhood, then stop stammering as they grow up but find it re-occur at some point in their adult life.

Some facts about Stuttering

Stuttering facts
Stuttering facts
  • A stutter may be the result of a head injury.
  • Girls stutter less than boys. Almost the ration is 4:1
  • In Britain, the word ‘stammering’ is used in the place of stuttering.
  • There are an estimated 500,000 plus adult stammerers in the UK that is 1% of the adult population.
  • Over 3 million stammers in the USA.
  • There are around 70 million people in the world who suffer from it.
  • There is no known cause, is available for stammering but a combination of different factors are involved.
  • Stammering varies from time to time — Cyclic variation.
  • The October 22nd is International Stammering Awareness day.

Recognize the Risk Factors for Stuttering

  • stuttering-risk-factor-factorsGender: Boys stutter more as compare to girls.
  • Age when stutter starts: A child who starts stuttering before 3.5 years of age is less likely to stutter later in life. The earlier the stuttering starts, it continues for long-term.
  • Family history: If a child or some close family member stutters, there are chances of that speech disorder continuing are much greater.

Knowing these factors will help you decide whether or not your child needs speech therapy and require speech-language pathologist then determine whether to wait a bit longer or begin treatment right away.

Stuttering diagnosis & treatment

When to consult a doctor or speech therapist

Experts say that consider doctor when:

  • Child stutter after the age of 5.
  • Children may suffer from emotional difficulties, such as fear of places or situations.
  • The stuttering occurs more frequently.
  • It is accompanied by a tightness of the facial and upper body muscles.
  • The child’s stuttering has persisted for over 6 months.

To know the complete aspects of stuttering, the patient should be examined by a speech-language pathologist (SLP).

The SLP will record the types of the problem the individual has when speaking. It also notes how often problems occur and how the person fights with the stutter.

The SLP may perform some other tests, such as speech rate and language skills. These all assessments will depend on the patient’s age and history. The SLP determine whether there is a fluency disorder or not after getting all the data. If there is fluency disorder present in the individual, the SLP will determine to what level the disorder affects the patient’s ability to function and take part in daily activities.

It is very important to try to predict whether a young child’s stutter will become long-term. This can be fairly accurately done with the help of a series of assessments, and observations.

Tests and Observations for older children and adults are aimed at gauging the severity of the disorder.

Treatment of Stuttering

Speech therapy in children will help the child, in learning to slow down your speech and notice when they stutter. Maybe it takes time when they begin the speech therapy. But over time, you can work up to a more natural speech pattern.

Breathing control as the patient practices prolonged speech, they also learn how to regulate breathing and do Abdominal breathing.

Electronic fluency devices are available to enhance fluency. It mimics your speech so that it sounds as if you’re talking in unison with someone else.

Parent-child interaction techniques used at home will help a child cope up with stuttering.

Cognitive behavioral therapy this type of psychotherapy can help you learn to identify and change ways of thinking that make your stuttering worse. It can also help you to overcome stress, depression causing hearing loss or self-esteem problems related to stuttering.

Home remedy to cure Stammering/Stuttering

  • The Brahmi oil is a very useful remedy.
  • Almond, Black Pepper paste and add sugar, use this past early morning on an empty stomach for at least one month.
  • Take a fresh green amla and eat as chewing it slowly, it helps to cure your stammering problem.
  • Cinnamomum Tamala (Tejpata)- Use this under the tongue for stutter treatment.
  • Take some bloated borax and mixed it into honey, gently rub this paste on the tongue. Help this treatment for a stutter.
  • The Ghee also helps to improve brain and memory power.

Top exercises to reduce Stammering in children & adults

  • Loudly and clearly pronounce the vowels A, E, I, O and U.
  • Breathing Exercises, stuttering often increases during times of stress and anxiety.
  • Drinking through a straw is one of the oral exercises that help to deal with stammering.
  • Reading exercises are helpful in identification of patterns of repetition of words that cause stuttering and help to reduce.
  • Doing Jaw Technique for four to five reps of the exercise every night will bring great results.

Here is the brief description of some the exercises to be beneficial in reducing the intensity and in some cases, completely curing the disease.

Breathing Exercises

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, regulating the breathing may help reduce stuttering. One simple exercise is called diaphragmatic breathing is used to recover the problem. This breath technique can help to become calmer and more relaxed, especially if anyone needs to speak in front of an audience or in another situation that makes them nervous. If possible, sit in a quiet room where you’ll be undisturbed for a few moments. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Place one hand on your belly and notice how it rises and falls when you inhale and exhale. Deepen your breath and try to make your breathing slow and relaxed. Allow thoughts to flow out of your mind. Practice this technique for five minutes each day.

Progressive Relaxation

According to former stutterer T.D. Kehoe in his book, “Speech-Language Pathology — Stuttering,” progressive relaxation exercises that focus on relaxing the speech production muscles, such as the lips, tongue, jaw, and lungs can help reduce stuttering. Progressive relaxation is best performed while lying down with your eyes closed. Take a few deep breaths, then focus on your jaw. Clench your jaw tightly for a few seconds, then allow it to relax completely. Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth as hard as you can for a few seconds, then allow it to relax completely. Press your lips together for a few seconds, then allow them to relax. Repeat this process four or five times.

Slow Speech Exercise

Practicing what you want to say beforehand can help reduce stuttering, especially if you slow your vowels and relax your breathing, according to Kehoe. Take deep, slow breaths. Practice in front of a mirror, slowly increasing the speed of your sentences until you are speaking at a normal pace.

Reading Exercises

Just as with the slow speech exercise, reading exercises can reduce stuttering through slowing your vowels, concentrating on your breathing and trying to relax. Read a paragraph out of your favorite book without placing any pressure or stress on yourself to get it right. Just relax and read, trying to enjoy the process instead of focusing on not stuttering. If you stutter, keep reading and don’t blame yourself. Practice reading out loud for half an hour every day.

Hope, Wake-Up and Do The Parents of Children Who Stutter

Self-Therapy for the Stutterer

Talk in front of a mirror

One of the best cures for stammering is pronouncing all the alphabets loudly and clearly while standing in front of a mirror. Be confident and twist your face strongly, every time you utter the vowels. Repeat this every day at least for 20-30 minutes.

Analyze your breathing pattern:

Take some deep breaths before you start speaking in order to stop stammering, it will pacify you and release nervousness. One can observe that people who stammer often forget to breathe once they begin talking. Don’t do that. Instead, pause and give yourself some time to breathe, and try to tackle the word or phrase again.

Consult a speech therapist

Consulting a therapist is a guaranteed help and an effective way to overcome any kind of speech disorder. Therapists will determine each and every cause and effect of stammering and prescribe medicines or suggest exercises based on that.

Read books aloud

Ensure that you get down to the habit of reading loud and fast. Take anything like a newspaper, magazine or a textbook and practice it on a daily basis. This method helps to identify the specific words that are causing you to stutter and lets you concentrate on those in the future. Repeat this for 2-3 months regularly and you will definitely see a positive change in your speech.

Try speaking in rhythm

Singing is the most effective way to cure stammering. If not proper singing, people suffering from speech disorder must develop the habit of speaking in rhythm. This gives a flow to their sentences and they are able to speak without any pause or break in between. Practice it for 2-3 months, it makes the cure an enjoyable ride.

Positive Visualization

A positive visualization can be a great help for those who stutter. Visualizing something that gives you happiness will help you to be relaxed and thus reduce stammering. This technique is also followed by many renowned speakers.

Pace Yourself

This technique can really be helpful, especially for those who want to be stage performers but still dealing with stuttering. Try to get a pace for your body by a steady walk and recite whatever you want while walking. You will notice that you didn’t stutter or mumble and even if you did, it will reduce.

Remember, stammering is not a disease and can be cured easily if done at the right age and time. It is also a serious condition in some cases as it causes shortening of breath due to:

  • Physical weakness because of a disease
  • Any kind of fear
  • Imitating other people who stutter
  • Accident or any other mishappening

Instead of bullying or judging people having this problem, give them a hand. Help them out with the piece of information we stated above.

The famous person who suffered from Stuttering

There are so many celebrities who also suffered from stutter problem. Some of them are:

  • Isaac Newton (Famous Scientist)
  • Marilyn Monroe (Most Beautiful Actress of film History)
  • Hrithik Roshan (Bollywood Actor)
  • Julia Roberts (Best American Actress)
  • Tiger Woods (Best Golfer)
  • Rowan Atkinson (Mr.Bean Funniest Stand Up Comedian)
  • Peter Murphy (Greatest Dancing Singer)
  • Ed Sheeran (Britain’s Famous Singer)

But they overcame their problem and hence became a milestone for everyone.

So it is very obvious that stuttering can be overcome if we put real effort towards it.

National Stuttering Association (NSA)

There is the largest non-profit organization present for stutter which was founded in California in January 1977 by Bob Goldman & Michael Sugarman. on community. The organization is the National Stuttering Association (NSA). This organization tries their best in bringing hope and empowerment to children and adults who stutter, their families, and professionals, through support, education, advocacy, and research.

Stuttering Or Stammering – Causes, Treatments {All You Need To Know}
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