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30 May 2011

Early intervention for stutterers is best

Stuttering may seem simple enough, but researchers say it involves factors as disparate as genetics, emotion, brain activity, motor control and language

Stuttering may seem simple enough. People who stutter cannot get words out properly. They repeat or prolong sounds or syllables, sometimes appearing to physically struggle to speak.

Stuttering took center stage recently with the popularity and critical success of "The King's Speech," which was awarded the "best picture" Oscar at this year's Academy Awards. The movie has brought new attention to the problem of stuttering, which affects millions.

Children and stuttering

  • Genetics: about three of every five people who stutter have a family member with the same problem.
  • Child development: children with early speech or language problems, or some other form of developmental delay, are more likely to stutter.
  • Neurophysiology: researchers have found that people who stutter process speech and language differently than people without a stutter.
  • Family dynamics: pressure to succeed and a fast-paced lifestyle can prompt stuttering in some people.

 
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