We all have times when we don’t speak as smoothly as we would like. We may repeat a syllable or word, we might add “uh” or “you know” to what we say. All of these stuttering events or disfluencies are normal if they happen occasionally. When it happens a lot, or if it bothers the speaker, it may be stuttering.
Stuttering might make a person tense or struggle to talk. Stuttering may get in the way of how a person talks to others. Some may want to hide their stuttering and avoid certain words or refuse to talk in some situations. For example, a student may not want to be called on in class because that situation increases their stuttering.
People who stutter may have the following types of disfluencies:
- Blocks– This happens when you have a hard time getting a word out.
For example, “I want a …… cookie.”
- Prolongations– You may stretch a sound out for a long time, like cooooooooooookie.
- Repetitions– You may repeat parts of words, like co-co-co-cookie.
- Stuttering can change from day to day.
- Stress or excitement can lead to more stuttering.
- There is no one cause of stuttering.
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