Introduction: Stammering also known as stuttering is the fluency disorder of speech and is characterized by disruptions in the production of speech sounds. 

For examples:

K- K- K- Kiran is may friend" (Part-word repetition). 

"RRRR am is may brother "(sound prolongation).

I'll meet you - um um you know like - around six o'clock." (A series of interjections: The person expects to have difficulty smoothly joining the word "you" with the word "around." In response to the anticipated difficulty, he produces several interjections until he is able to say the word "around" smoothly.)

There may be some associated behavior, apart from non fluent speech, like eye blinking, jaw pressing, hand movement, leg movement and poor eye contacts.

How is stammering diagnosed?

Diagnosing stuttering requires the skills of a certified speech-language pathologist (SLP). Some time patient reach to physician also. In such case most of the physician refer to Speech Language Pathologist for detail assessment and management. Most of the time parents  confused between  normal non fluency and stammering. Here SLPs evaluation will help to remove such confusion.

Factors that are noted by many specialists include the following:

  • a family history of stuttering
  • stuttering that has continued for 6 months or longer
  • presence of other speech or language disorders
  • strong fears or concerns about stuttering on the part of the child or the family

What are  the main  causes  of stammering ?

When we speak there are hundred of muscles of our body like breathing muscles, laryngeal muscles, muscles of lips , tongue, palate and jaw  works in coordinated way. If coordination among these muscles due to any reason goes fluency of speech will be affected. Means those who stammer will having problem in coordinating speech production muscles with brain.

What treatments are available for stammering?

Speech Language Pathologists teach people who stutter to control and/or monitor the rate at which they speak. In addition, people may learn to start saying words in a slightly slower and less physically tense manner. They may also learn to control or monitor their breathing. When learning to control speech rate, people often begin by practicing smooth, fluent speech at rates that are much slower than typical speech, using short phrases and sentences. Over time, people learn to produce smooth speech at faster rates, in longer sentences, and in more challenging situations until speech sounds both fluent and natural. "Follow-up" or "maintenance" sessions are often necessary after completion of formal intervention to prevent relapse.

Is there any medicine or surgery will help in stammering management?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drug for the treatment of stuttering. However, some drugs that are approved to treat other health problems such as epilepsy, anxiety, or depression have been used to treat stuttering. These drugs often have side effects that make them difficult to use over a long period of time. In a recent study funded by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD),researchers concluded that drug therapy has been largely ineffective in controlling stuttering.

Is there 100% Cure for Stammering?

There is no 100% cure for stammering, although few healthcare quacks  are making such false claim. 

Speech therapy result may vary with the type of problem, severity of problem and age of the person. There are some examples of relapse also after speech therapy. A Significant change has been seen among about 80% population after speech therapy.

How do I know who are speech language pathologist /speech therapist in India? 

These are the professionals trained for the assessment and treatment of all kinds of communication disorders. They should have the following qualification:

  • B.Sc. (Hons )Speech and Hearing/B.Sc. Speech and Hearing/Bachelor in Audiology and speech language Pathology(BASLP)
  • M.Sc. Speech Language Pathology/M.Sc. Speech and Hearing/ MASLP
  • Certified by Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI)