Almost all of us have known at least one person who stammers. Either a relative, friend or a character from a movie. In some cases, it’s you who might have suffered from the problem of stammering as a child. When people stammer, they unintentionally appear funny because of their manner of speaking. And often people who stammer or stutter are poked fun at. This can have unpleasant repercussions on an individual.
“Stammering, which is also known as stuttering, is a speech disorder. It is accompanied by features like disturbed fluency and rhythm of speech, in intermittent halting, repetition of words rapidly, prolongation of sound, and associated anxiety and stress,” says Dr Shreepad khedekar, consultant homeopathy and expert in speech therapy. He says that it’s fairly common problem.
There are three types of stammering characterized by their response for the occurrence. Dr Khedekar mentions the following reasons:
• Developmental stammering- as children learn to speaking they often stutter, especially early on, when their speech and language skills are not developed enough to race along at the same speed as what they want to say.
• Stammering due to psy- chological factors- pay chological factors worsen the condition for people who stutter, such as stress, embarrassment, anxiety, low self-esteem, nervousness etc. Devani dalal, audiologist and speech therapist, says that stammering is common among children between zero and five years. It is not hereditary. It can develop due to imitation or due to abnormal breathing due to cold, cough, tonsillis.
DR. kanan khatau chikhal, clinical psychologist, says that some people have physical defects pertaining to frenlum of the tongue. Also known as lingual frenulum, it is a small fold of mucous membrane extending from the floor of the mouth to the midline of the underside of the tongue. She says that some people only stammer with words beginning with ‘r’ and ‘h’.
Stammering causes a lot of stress to the individual right from early child hood. Child would avoid mixing with peers as they would tease him. As he grows up, it always causes a hindrance while interacting with people, both in professional as stage activies even if they love being there because they are afraid that they ill stammer and become the butt of people’s nasty jokes. Name calling, mock imitation, teasing by others etc. are the reasons for their fear. When a stammer is onstage, even if he or she stammer once, they instantly being freaking out and this aggravates their problem further.
Stammering usually stem from subconscious fears. Usually most if these issues occur during childhood mostly due to overly strict parents or fear of ghosts, darkness or either when the child was shouted or reprimanded for expressing their opinions, mentions Dr khatau chikhal. Dalal says stammering is a physiological abnormality that cannot be treated with medications. It can be treated affectively, through counseling and speech therapy also, prescribed breathing exercises can help to curb stammering affectively. Therefore, seeking professional help is important.