Stuttering is a speech disorder, which affects the fluency of speech. A person, who stutters, has involuntary hesitation when speaking and tends to repeat and draw out parts of words or phrases. According to research, about 5 percent of children aged 2 to 5 stutter, which improves with age in many children. The disorder progresses to become a problem in less than 1 percent of children.
Symptoms of Stuttering
Difficulty Starting a Word: An important symptom of stuttering is difficulty in starting a word, sentence or phrase. When a person with stuttering speaks, there are prolonged pauses and long, drawn-out sounds. Some examples of pauses in stuttering include:
Repetition and Prolongation: Another major symptom of stuttering is repetition of words or phrases and prolongation of speech sounds. The speech may get "blocked" i.e. the lips may be together or the mouth may be open, but no words or sounds are produced for several seconds. Some examples of repetitions of sounds, syllables, or short words in stuttering include:
Other speech symptoms of stuttering include word substitutions (circumlocution) to avoid trying to say difficult words. Some people with stuttering may have complete change of words or thoughts such as “I found my-Do you want to eat?" while speaking.
Many other physical symptoms have been noted to occur along with speech difficulty. Physical symptoms, which may occur with speech difficulty include:
In many people, stuttering becomes worse when he or she gets excited, anxious, overwhelmed or is tired. In children, stuttering often gets worse when the child tries to tell something complex.