What is Stuttering?

One of my main goals in writing this blog is to raise greater awareness for this condition that affects approximately 70 million people worldwide (The Stuttering Foundation).  I believe that if we work together to shed light on this issue, we can help thousands of people on their own journey to fluency. Most importantly, we can remind them that their stutter does not make them less of a person. It makes them beautiful!

Surprisingly, stuttering most commonly affects men rather than women. Stuttering manifests itself in several ways. Some people repeat sounds until the word comes out, while others remain silent while stuttering, completely unable to say the word at all. I often find myself using “filler words” such as um and and to avoid stuttering.

Although its root causes are not fully understood yet, most researchers believe stuttering is a neurological disorder in the speech area of the brain. Others believe stuttering may be a problem in one’s hearing. In this case, the mouth works faster than the ear can process speech.  Extreme stress, exhaustion, fear, or excitement often exasperate the stutter; however, they do not cause stuttering as a whole.

There are several different categories of stuttering today. Mild or moderate stuttering may be overcome through speech therapy with great patience and determination. However, severe stuttering is more difficult to overcome and may require different treatment.

I have been inspired by stories of people around the world who have learned to accept their stutter as a beautiful part of them. They have learned that beauty is in the heart and that they have something amazing to give the world. Remember, we all have something to give. Finding your gift requires courage and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.