Stuttering and Its Psychological Effects Essay

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STUTTERING AND ITS PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS Stuttering is an age-old problem that has its origins in the way the brain has evolved to produce speech and language. (Guitar, 2006). Stuttering or stammering is an involuntary speech disorder categorized by disfluencies in the production of speech sounds from time to time. In most cases, some words are repeated and some are preceded with fillers like “um” or “uh”. It also encompasses the hesitation or pausing before speech most commonly referred to by stutterers as “blocks”. Secondary behaviors associated with stuttering include eye blinking, jaw jerking, and head or other involuntary movements. This speech disorder occurs all around the world and like a calamity, it does not pick a specific race, gender, occupation, intelligence, status, or age to target. Stuttering may become self-treating, although it may also get worse and worse as time goes by. It may even be sporadic, appearing then disappearing then appearing again. Or, it may disappear altogether as time goes by. Although in some cases, stuttering has a continuous course. Onset occurs in young children between the ages of 18 months and 9 years, but it mostly occurs between the ages of 2 and 5. The onset of stuttering occurs usually during stressful situations in a child’s life. For many, certain life events are thought to "trigger" fluency difficulty. A drastic change in the family, criticism and embarrassment can start the whole journey of a person in becoming a stutterer. Those children will hold on to this speech disorder as a lifelong struggle. Perkins (1983, 1990, 1996) has discussed the possibility that “loss of control” is a key aspect in defining stuttering and that a “disfluency” becomes a stutterer when the child experiences lack of control. (Gregory, 2003) The development of stuttering differs from every person who stutters just the same as there are

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