Stuttering is a kind of catch-all term to refer to a range of speech problems, the most common being the repetition of the sound at the start of a word or syllable. Nobody is entirely sure what causes stuttering, though some scientists have recognized that there could be a genetic component. Although this means that stuttering can be something that several members of one family will suffer from, it is actually the pre-disposition towards stuttering that is inherited, and stuttering can almost always be cured, and if not, vastly improved. Stuttering can also be a kind of tic that develops as a habit, or the result of conditions like alcoholism.
Stuttering can manifest itself in people of all ages, but it does frequently develop in childhood. Both children and adults can improve or lose their stutter with the right techniques.
Why Cure a Stutter?
Some people have a very severe stutter which makes communicating very frustrating and sometimes even impossible, especially in stressful situations. Others have a milder stutter which doesn’t really prevent normal communication, but can be something they find embarrassing. Stutters can also cause negative feedback loops that exacerbate speech issues and further damage self-confidence. As an example, some people who have a stutter may attempt to speak much faster than usual to try and complete what they want to say before a stutter holds them up. This actually makes them more likely to stutter.
Curing a stutter can make a person a lot more confident and assertive in their spoken communication, and will also prevent bad speech habits to develop that will make the situation worse. Some people who work hard on their speech can go from stuttering to being able to speak as well as professional actors or public speakers!
Speech therapy is the traditional way to work with a person who has a stutter, however even when you have a speech therapist, a lot of the work is done by yourself (or with parents when the patient is a child), using exercises the therapist prescribes. Speech therapy has a very good success rate and offers the support of an expert, however some people find the cost prohibitive if their insurance doesn’t cover this, or simply don’t want to have to attend regular appointments. For them, there are now computer based therapy programs that can be done at home.
Can Home Stutter Correction Work as Well as Traditional Speech Therapy?
Home programs like Stuttering Doctor have had a lot of success, and offer some new and interesting exercises that can help people overcome their speech difficulties without seeing a professional. However, these programs are only as good as the work the patient puts in. As with a speech therapist, the patient needs to actually do the exercises for the recommended amount of time to get the benefits, however for motivated people who don’t need regular check-ins with a therapist to force them to work on their speech, these programs can be excellent.
If you or your child has a stutter, it is well worth investigating online options to cure it.