Expressing yourself can be a significant challenge for people who stutter. Certain contexts can cause stress and augment the difficulty of communicating. Speech-Language Pathologists can help you take control of situations in order to express yourself with more ease
The causes of stuttering are not entirely understood. However, the risk factors contributing to having a stutter are. They include a family history, gender (males are more likely to stutter than females) and temperament/personality ( a fast speaker, or someone who likes to talk a lot). No matter the degree of severity, a stutter may have a negative impact on your self-esteem. A speech-language pathologist can help you to develop strategies to control your stutter.
What really is a stutter?
It is normal to have a few hesitations or bumps in our speech. However, when the fluency or flow of speech is affected significantly, it may in fact be a stutter.
Moments of stutter are also called dysfluencies. These can take several forms from blockages, prolongation or repetition of sounds or syllables. The stutter can vary day to day and depending on the context. It is possible to have easy fluid speech in some situations and the complete opposite in others. In addition, stress, excitement or anticipation can contribute to the severity of the stutter.
It is important to note that stuttering is not limited to blockages or repetitions when a person speaks. It is possible to see signs of facial tension or extraneous movements. Often a stutter becomes an obstacle to daily living and can affect a different aspect of a person’s life. Avoidance is a frequent tactic used by people who stutter to cope with difficult speaking situations.
What does a stutter sound like?
Stutter like speech contains these types of dysfluencies :
- Repetition of a part of a word: I be-be-believe so
- Repetition of a 1 syllable word: He he he is gone
- Blockages (generally accompanied by tension): I want … another
- Audible Prolongation : Mmmmmmy car
The following dysfluencies are not stutter-like:
- Addition of a sound between two words : I um don’t know
- Repetition of a part of a sentence : he is he is 4 years old
- Sentence revision : I am, I have to go
- Incomplete sentence : He is name is… I don’t know
Treatment for Stuttering
A complete evaluation is necessary in order to define the kind of stutters present and the frequency, as well as the impact of the person’s daily life and contexts. This step is essential to building an action plan that is efficient and responds to the needs of the individual.
The central element in therapy is to develop better control of the speech movements, while reducing tension. The Speech-Language Pathologist works with you to learn how to reduce the number of dysfluencies (or bumps) and to help identify factors that increase the frequency and severity of the stutter.
Two elements are essential to the intervention. Firstly, regular appointments, especially at the beginning of the treatment, in order to learn the techniques properly and strategies. Secondly, motivation. It is extremely important that the individual feel motivated to learn and integrate the strategies into their daily living.
Stuttering is a disorder that can have a major impact on the day-to-day activities of a person who stutters. Although the treatment can take many months, it is possible to learn to better control your speech and begin to participation fully in all social and professional activities. Contact the Speech-Language Pathologists at Centre Mosaïque de Québec today to begin your journey.
Make an appointment
The Centre Mosaïque is committed to providing prompt care to meet your needs. Feel free to contact us to find out how our speech therapists can help you.