Why people stutter – level 3

03-08-2022 07:00

More than 70 million people worldwide stutter, which is about one percent of the global population.

Five percent of all children go through a period of stuttering, and most recover by late childhood. However, some have a long-term stutter, and scientists still don’t fully understand why. They studied the brains of people who stutter or who recovered from a stutter; they found they are different from the brains of people who don’t.

This study means that a stutter has a neurological origin, and it comes from genetic differences. The condition often runs in families, and some of the genetic differences are related to sex. Men are more likely to stutter as children and more likely to continue to stutter into adulthood.

The treatment of stutter differs and depends on whether the person is a young child very close to onset, a school-aged child, or an adult. Some techniques can help reduce the stutter; however, they don’t fix the neurological differences.  Therapies help people understand that what they say is far more important than how they say it. However, society isn’t always accepting and supportive.

Difficult words: stutter (to speak with difficulty, for example, to pause before saying a word or repeat it several times), neurological (related to the brain and the nervous system), onset (the beginning of something).

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