Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22: International Stuttering Awareness Day

Since today is International Stuttering Awareness Day, we hoped to explain a little bit about the disorder.

Wear your ISAD
ribbon with pride!

For those who don't know, stuttering is a speech disorder that causes broken speech, pauses and elongations.

There's a huge degree of variation in those who stutter or stammer. The disorder can be anything from almost unnoticeable to an unavoidable constraint on their daily lives.

Those with a stutter don't always repeat sounds like Porky Pig (who was given a stutter because the original recording artist suffered from the condition), but sometimes will pause or remain silent as they are unable to produce the sounds at that exact moment.

There are three main effects of the condition: repetition, the repeating of certain sounds; prolongation, extending a sound; and blocks, in which the person freezes during speech, making no sounds at all.

Like most things linguistically, vowels are everything. The majority of sufferers struggle with vowels and semivowels (or glides).

Stuttering can be caused by a variety of factors but is often due to anxiety or stress. People who stutter don't normally have any physical problems with producing sounds, but instead a psychological issue.

Stress causes more than just stuttering.

There are over 3 million Americans stutter and have often been the subject of jokes. It can be a horrific ordeal for those who stutter severely, and has been known to affect a person's mood and even job prospects. It's not directly linked to a person's intelligence either. If you're ever having a conversation with someone and they stutter, you should be kind... it's not caused by stupidity, it's an involuntary action.

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