Dennis Dryana, Ph.D., a director of the Stuttering Foundation and researcher for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders announced the discovery of three genes for stuttering today.
While this information could be helpful to one day find a cure, we still need to rely on speech therapy to prevent stuttering. This significant finding rules out stuttering is due to factors such as stress.
What is stuttering?
The following information is condensed from Let’s Talk, I think my child is stuttering. What should I do? American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2003.
It is considered normal for young children to have some dysfluent speech, especially when they are expressing complex ideas. It’s also common for children ages 2 through 7 to repeat whole words or phrases and to use “uh” and “um” in their speech. Most children become more fluent as they get older and their language skills improve.
However, stuttering often begins during these early years. A speech therapist that specializes in treating stuttering / fluency disorders can help determine if the child is beginning to stutter or just has a normal dysfluency.
Characteristics of the child at risk for stuttering:
- Repeats parts of words, prolongs a sound, or breaks up words
- Often repeats part of the word about 3 times
- During repetitions, the child substitutes an uh vowel (tuh-tuh-tuh-table)
- May use a broken rhythm during repetitions (b.b…..b..boy)
- Has 10 or more disfluencies every 100 words
- Opens mouth to speak but no sound comes out
- Has other family members who stutter
Select Characteristics of a child with normal disfluency:
- Often repeats whole words or phrases
- Typically repeats part of the word no more than 1 or 2 times
- During repetitions, the vowel sound remains the same (ta,ta,table)
- Rhythmic repetitions
- 9 or fewer disfluencies every 100 words
- Starts speech easily; keeps speech going
Find helpful tips for parents of preschoolers that stutter from the Stuttering Foundation of America.
Speech Pathologists that Specialize in Stuttering in Manhattan
Please note that this list does NOT include me, as I specialize in language, articulation and oral motor therapy with children. Good luck!
Dr. Lesley Wolk
American Institute for Stuttering
27 West 20th Street
New York, NY10011
3333 Henry Hudson Parkway