Check Up : Man wants cure for stuttering

September 27, 2017

Duncan is 44 years old and suffers from stuttering since birth. He says it's always worse when he is feeling stressed or pressured. He asks Check Up if there is any cure for the stuttering.

Stuttering is a speech disorder characterised by repetition of sounds syllables and words. It includes interruptions of speech known as blocks. An individual who stutters knows exactly what they want to say but has trouble producing a normal flow of speech.

The truth is that researchers are still trying to define the underlying causes of persistent stuttering. They think that stuttering may be due to a combination of factors which include: abnormalities in speech motor control; emotional trauma; injuries to the brain tissues from stroke or trauma; genetics having relatives who also stutter seems to increase the risk of a person stuttering; people who experience developmental delays during childhood or have speech problems during childhood are more likely to stutter; males are more likely to stutter; and stress can worsen stuttering.

Stuttering causes other problems as the person who stutters is: more likely to suffer with low self-esteem; have problems communicating with others; avoid situations which require speaking; be teased over the stuttering; and experience loss of participation in projects at school or work.

At this time, there is no cure for stuttering, but some treatment is available. Working with a speech therapist and a psychologist may be the best options available in Jamaica. Current therapies tend to focus on learning ways to minimise stuttering during speech by training with speaking more slowly and regulating breathing. These therapies also address the matter of anxiety. There are also drugs used to treat other conditions such as epilepsy, anxiety and depression which are also used to treat stuttering.

Practise makes perfect, Duncan! Modulate and take time with your speaking, and breathe very evenly even when stressed. See if your doctor can make any arrangements for you for therapy.

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