Stuttering

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What to expect

Stuttering

Stuttering also known as 'stammering' is a disruption to the flow of speech and can vary in severity depending upon each individual's difficulty. Someone who stammers may repeat or prolong words and syllables or they may use pauses or have blocks in speech which means they are unable to produce any sound.

Speech and language therapy will help an individual who has a stutter by providing techniques and support to help them manage their stutter in a positive way. Speech and language therapy will aim to create a positive communication environment by increasing the individual's confidence and self-esteem when communicating.

What is a stutter?

A stutter is a disruption of the usual flow of speech and ranges from stoppage of speech, repetition of words or syllables and prolonging sounds. A stutter can affect many people. People who stutter may block certain words out and try to use alternatives. Speech may sound tense, jumbled or forced depending on the severity and type of stutter.

What causes a stutter?

A combination of factors can cause stuttering, and it is often something which is present from a young age. Some of the causes are listed below:

  • Genetic factors: It may be more likely for someone to have a stutter, if someone in their family has one too.
  • Environmental factors: The amount of pressure on a person, and different situations involved in speech production can affect the severity and extent of a stutter.
  • Psychological factors: Self perception and perception of speech can affect severity and extent of a stutter.

What problems caused by stuttering can speech and language therapy help with?

Speech and language therapy can help someone who stutters. Speech and language therapy may focus on one or more of the following areas:

By working on these areas, a client can develop coping strategies to overcome their stutter and improve the fluency of their speech.

How does speech and language therapy help stuttering?

Speech and language therapy can improve a client's communication skills and help them to develop coping strategies and management of their stutter. This will result in a client becoming more confident and therefore more fluent in their production of speech.

Speech and language therapy will provide support, techniques and exercises for the individual with the stutter to help them develop strategies which will make their stutter more manageable. Therapy will focus on viewing a stutter in a positive way and helping them to communicate more confidently.

Benefits of speech and language therapy for someone who has a stutter can include:

What would speech and language therapy treatment for stuttering involve?

Speech and language therapy will provide an initial assessment which will help to determine the severity of the individual's stutter and also note the strategies they use to cope with it. An initial assessment will involve a detailed assessment of the individual's fluency of speech. The initial appointment will also give the individual the opportunity to share any concerns they have about their communication and also what they want to focus on in therapy.

Specific treatment will vary for each individual and be dependent on many different factors. Treatment will be individualised for each patient and will focus on what they want to work on and improve in therapy. At speech and language therapy we also offer stuttering and fluency groups which are beneficial for individuals with stutters to share their techniques and experiences. Stuttering and fluency groups also provide a positive communication environment.

After the initial assessment speech and language therapy may include one or more of the following:

How do I arrange a speech and language therapy assessment?

To arrange an assessment with one of our specialist speech and language therapists please email office@slt.co.uk or call our speech and language therapy team on 0330 0885 643.

Summary

Stuttering also known as 'stammering' can affect different aspects of speech production and can differ in severity depending upon a person's difficulty. Speech and language therapy can help with the management of a stutter by providing methods and strategies to overcome certain difficulties. For an appointment with one of our speech and language therapists, please email office@slt.co.uk or call a member of our team on 0330 0885 643.


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Next steps

To speak to a Speech and Language Therapist or to book an appointment, call us on 0161 883 0111 or email office@slt.co.uk

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