Streams

Please Explain: Stuttering

Friday, January 28, 2011

Some three million Americans stutter, and as the Oscar-nominated film "The King's Speech" shows, it affects kings and commoners alike. Dr. Barry Guitar, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as Psychology, University of Vermont, and Chamonix Olsen Sikora, speech therapist and executive director of the American Institute for Stuttering, explain what stuttering is, and discuss its causes and treatments. 

Guests:

Dr. Barry Guitar and Chamonix Olsen Sikora
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Comments [30]

Jeannie from LA

Mr. Harry,

I have also stuttered after different procedures but not one of the doctors can tell me why this is. I am about to undergo another small procedure and I am concerned about the stuttering.. If anyone can give me some advice that would help me greatly.
Thanks and God Bless!

Jul. 21 2011 08:22 PM
Chris from New Hartford. CT

Every time I take a class, my stuttering is bad at the beginning. To curious stares -- but to not feel on the sidelines of my own life -- I tough my way through my initial speaking, to participate. By the end of the course, classmates always congratulate me that this particular class has cured my severe stutter because I have become fluent. Comfort level is definitely the key. In new situations, the sequence of great struggle to fluency has repeated itself countless times in my life. Only in my forties, could I ever begin to think on my feet in a discussion, not obsessed by the mere act of speaking. Stuttering lessens.

When meeting people, it definitely helps to announce the stutter at the beginning; this takes away the stress of performance.

Feb. 06 2011 01:45 PM
Chris from New Hartford. CT

Every time I take a class, my stuttering is bad at the beginning. To curious stares -- but to not feel on the sidelines of my own life -- I tough my way through my initial speaking, to participate. By the end of the course, classmates always congratulate me that this particular class has cured my severe stutter because I have become fluent. Comfort level is definitely the key. In new situations, the sequence of great struggle to fluency has repeated itself countless times in my life. Only in my forties, could I ever begin to think on my feet in a discussion, not obsessed by the mere act of speaking. Stuttering lessens.

When meeting people, it definitely helps to announce the stutter at the beginning; this takes away the stress of performance.

Feb. 06 2011 01:44 PM
Leroy from New York

I stutter and I found this interesting that neither of the guests talked about the fact that stuttering gets worse around certain people and most stutterers don't stutter when they talk alone. Too bad they didn't mention what the specific factors were that help certain children outgrow their stuttering. Nervousness IS a big factor for causing stuttering, there is no firm information that stuttering is neurological, it only shows the result of the stuttering happening and then appearing in the brain. Mr Lopate even pointed that out. Both guests want to keep away from the emotional aspects of stuttering for personal reasons probably. The KIngs Speech did not capture the blocks and repetitions that occur with stuttering but then they are selling their wares. Beware people who claim to be "experts" as these guests say they are and their is no proof at all that there a firm genetic link. I think that the host of the show knows that there is an emotional factor in stuttering and their guests are trying to avoid that and strictly say that it is genetic, neurological etc which is a dead end alley at this time but they stick to it, why? Do not go to the American Institute for Stuttering since they firmly believe that it is genetic and neurological especially if you are well into your teens and older. They stress catching it early in children since they can't really help adults, watch their videos. If you read this comment I will be surprised since AIS tries to block any comments that they don't like. Dr Barry is using speech techniques that were developed by Dr. Webster that AIS rejects for the most part.

Feb. 04 2011 11:05 PM
National Stuttering Association

Help for Children and Adults Who Stutter: For 35 years the National Stuttering Association (NSA), which is the largest self-help non-profit organization for people who stutter in the country, has connected kids and adults who stutter to other kids and adults who stutter through local chapter meetings, workshops, on-line support groups and annual conferences in which over 600 people who stutter attend each year! They also offer tons of great brochures, pamphlets and other reference tools for both people who stutter and professionals. To learn more, pls contact them at: www.westutter.org, info@westutter.org or 1-800-937-8888

Jan. 30 2011 05:02 PM
Deirdre Kennedy from Jersey City

what about a brain stutter? When I am nervous my brain will forget a word particularly a name.

Jan. 28 2011 01:57 PM
Anna Levin

What effect does handedness have on stuttering? If a left-handed child is made to become right-handed, does that cause stuttering, as portrayed in The King's Speech?

Jan. 28 2011 01:57 PM
Rosemary Conte from Matawan, NJ

Hello. There is a whole other paradigm that sees stuttering & its healing differently.
Clinical Hypnosis Therapy & NeuroLinguitic Programming is a quick & efficient cure for stuttering, which I believe is anxiety based more than genetic. NLP actually changes the brain's wiring!

Jan. 28 2011 01:56 PM
Bob from Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ

I once heard there was a connection between stuttering and trying to change a left-handed child to a right-handed one. Is there any truth to it?

Jan. 28 2011 01:55 PM
Dayna from Brooklyn

Our Time Theatre Co in NYC is a wonderful place for kids and teens to learn to live with themselves and write and perform plays. My son was with them for 5 years, and while his stutter is not too much lessened, he knows he has as much right as the next person to 'get his words out' and be heard. Hats off to Taro Alexander who started this theater.

Jan. 28 2011 01:54 PM
Barbara from LOng Island

my son stutters and he hates it when people finish his sentences for him. As a parent I would say to you - let the person who stutters take the time to speak.

Jan. 28 2011 01:54 PM
Cristina from NYC

Pagoclone.
I participated in a study for Pagoclone, and it did help me. However, they decided Pagoclone was not effective, and stopped the studies. They will not market pagoclone for the time being.....Do you know of a similar drug already on the market or being studied?

Jan. 28 2011 01:52 PM
James from manhattan

Are certain languages or dialects more prone to stuttering? The English seem to stutter more than Americans do.

Jan. 28 2011 01:51 PM
escapefrmyonker from yonkers

sturrering is tough as a kid, any type of speech disorder. The local kids will make fun and torment you. so one learns to fight or flee.
And to top it off, my mother made fun and ridiculed me as a young child for not speaking right,stuttering and causing her embarrassment . i never realized that mothers are supposed to give support and love until i way into my later life.
of course this made the problem worse for me, including public speaking,i would like to find a toastmaster club or something to hone my public speaking, .

Jan. 28 2011 01:50 PM
GERALD FOREMAN

Please comment on the efficacy of the fluency devices that are now offered.
Also, how much followup is required for speech therappy.

Jan. 28 2011 01:47 PM
Mark Shwayder from Birmingham, MI

I'm 59 and have had bad word blockages all my life.I get blockages on certain letters of certain words. Do you distinguish in the type of treatment you apply between stuttering and blockages?

Jan. 28 2011 01:45 PM
RoseAnn from NYC

Could there be a link with a stutterer developing Parkinson's Disease?

Jan. 28 2011 01:44 PM
Julia from New York City

At 2 1/2 my daughter went from being a fluent speaker to stuttering. It continued from 2 weeks. After a few days, she came to me crying, asking "Why can't I speak right any more?" She was ambidextrous and from that time on ate with her left hand and played sports with her right hand. I always thought that handedness was the cause. Thank goodness her normal speech returned.

Jan. 28 2011 01:43 PM
j from bklyn

a link to the video of the original king's speech>
Compare The King's Speech to the Real King's Speech

http://gawker.com/5745235/compare-the-kings-speech-to-the-real-kings-speech

the trailer for the movie is below.

Jan. 28 2011 01:40 PM
gary

I have been made aware that a famous interviewer stutters. They never actually stutter on the air because they cover it with what looks to the audience like thoughtful pauses. Is this ability to mask the condition common?

Jan. 28 2011 01:39 PM
donna from new jersey

Can one traumatic event cause stuttering? In the King's Speech, king George does refer to his painful childhood experience with his nanny where the nanny favored his brother, not feeding king George at times.

Jan. 28 2011 01:39 PM
Charlotte from Scarsdale

When I was 15 yrs. old. I knew a young man with a stutter. I met him again recently, 48 yrs. later when he came to work as a freelancer. We talked for 3 hours and he had not stutter. Of course I didn't want to ask what happened to the stutter, but after he left, I told my two supervisors about the surprise meeting of an old friend from my youth. "But," I said, "he had a huge problem with stuttering and now there's no sign of it."
They looked at me like I was crazy then said that his stuttering made it very difficult in their communication with him. My friend and I spoke for over three hours. He did not stutter one time.
What happened there?

Jan. 28 2011 01:38 PM
Shlomo from New York

I once attended a comedy workshop where one of the participants said he was a public school history teacher who stuttered, and when he tried to tell a joke, stammered and was never able to get the punch line out. Of course, the students fell all over themselves laughing each time. So he enrolled in the six week course only to be able to tell a joke all the way through. After six weeks, he did it, and he was so happy,. and WE were so happy for him we held him up in a chair and danced around him like a groom at his wedding.

Jan. 28 2011 01:38 PM

My husband stutters. I've noticed as he's gotten older he seems to be stuttering less. But stress certainly makes him stutter more.

Jan. 28 2011 01:37 PM
Brenna from nyc

I take ritalyn for ADD and find sometimes that I stumble over my words, trying to get a sentence out. Could my brain perhaps be overstimulated in some way that makes me too "eager" to spit out what I want to say?

Jan. 28 2011 01:37 PM
june

Movie mentioned that Bertie was originally left handed and forced to write with right hand. Lionel tells him that is often the case.

Jan. 28 2011 01:36 PM
James from Manhattan

My older brother is 43 and I've watched his stutter go from the stu-stu-stu type to a more "sound bite" type, such as, starting more sentences with "All I'm saying is" or repeating three or four words before continuing a sentence. But he often just won't speak unless he has to, and it is very isolating and makes him antisocial. In 'The King's Speech' I saw that horrible anxiety that my brother has lived with all his life, and it made me wonder if there is hope for an adult who seems to have given up and set so many limits on himself. Have you seen success with adults in their 40s?

Jan. 28 2011 01:33 PM
Nathanael

I only stutter when I am tired or very anxious (I have chronic anxiety). My father stutters very infrequently, but did more when he was younger. Is there a genetic component to stuttering?

Jan. 28 2011 01:32 PM
nyc from NYC

What about Nuerofeedback therapy?

Jan. 28 2011 01:29 PM
Harry

After a bad bicycling accident and several surgeries requiring general anesthesia I found my self studdering for almost a year afterword. Does trauma or anesthesia effect the speech part of the brain?

Jan. 28 2011 01:28 PM

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