Affected repeat syllables or sounds over and over again. Making a phone call or asking for directions for people who stutter can be an insurmountable problem. Stuttering is incurable, but one can learn to live better with it.
Stuttering begins at the age of two to six, but in many it passes during adolescence. But for some it stays permanent and they have to learn how to live with this flaw. 80 percent of those affected are men.
The classic symptoms of stuttering are the repetition of syllables or voices. Sometimes the vocals lengthen. But in some cases there is a complete blockage: the words are there, the affected know what to say, but the vocal apparatus simply fails.
Many sufferers suffer from mental problems caused by stuttering. Many isolate themselves, some try to avoid certain words or certain situations. What many without speech problems don’t even notice, phoning or briefly asking for directions, many who stutter avoid whenever they can.
This is primarily a matter of disrupting the connections between individual regions in the brain that control speech. This complicates the complicated coordination of many muscles needed for fluent speech.
Apart from the physical ones, there are also psychological reasons for stuttering. For many, stuttering worsens in the case of psychological pressure. Genes also play a role. In some families, stuttering is, so to speak, passed down from generation to generation. "My grandfather stuttered, so did my father. I stutter, but so does my son. "
Interestingly, stutterers have no problem pronouncing words if they sing them. "Singing is mostly occupied with the right side of the brain. And in the vast majority of stutterers, this side of the brain functions without problems. One of the methods used in stuttering therapy is to concentrate on the words that the affected person pronounces without problems. There is also a method of fluency shaping in which there is no stuttering, but the fluency of pronunciation is different. "The price of this method is that my speech sounds strange. It's like a robot, ”says Sommer.
One of the stuttering therapy scientists, Charles Van Ripper, remarked, "We didn't choose to stutter, but we can choose how to stutter."