Stuttering Is an Impaired Condition Thesis

Excerpt from Thesis :

One instance of this strategy is the self-therapy suggested by the Speech Foundation of America which is focused on the assumption that stuttering is not a symptom, rather a behavior which can be corrected. (Sadock; Kaplan; Sadock, 2007)

Stutterers have been advised that they can learn to control their problems in part by correcting their feelings regarding stuttering and mindset towards it and in part by correcting the abnormal behaviors linked with the blocks that come to the forefront during stuttering. The strategy covers desensitizing i.e. lowering the emotional reaction to and uncertainties revolving stuttering and substituting positive action to control the moment of stuttering. The latest mature strategies concentrate on the aspect of restructuring fluency. The complete speech production pattern is remolded with emphasis on a series of target behaviors, covering reduction of rate, simple or gentle starting of voicing, and even shift between sounds, syllables as also words. These strategies have come with considerable success in determining. (Sadock; Kaplan; Sadock, 2007)

Speech therapies that are used for the treatment of stuttering included (i) the metronome method (ii) negative practice (iii) voluntary stuttering (iv) hypnosis (v) syllable-timed speech (vi) ventriloquism (vii) pantomime (viii) fake stuttering (ix) shadowing (x) the chewing method etc. The metronome method involves the stutterer to speak in time to rhythmic movements. Under the negative practice the stutterer is made to learn to control a habit that one would prefer to discard, in this case stuttering, by practicing willfully and with purpose of the very habit. By means of this technique of self-imitation, the stutterer is assisted to undo through conscious method what he fancies not doing. Voluntary stuttering can use two techniques. (Pedrini; Pedrini, n. d.)

Under the first technique, the stutterer is asked to voluntary repeat the initial sound or the first syllable of each word as many a times he thinks it to be necessary prior to completing the remaining part of the word. Hypnosis is also observed to lower the severity of stuttering either as a supplementary procedure of a therapy or the direct reticence of stuttering through post-hypnotic suggestion. On the other hand syllable-timed speech involves speaking in smoothly chest-pulses involving uttering the words syllable by syllable, stressing on every syllable in a smooth manner and uttering it very time to a regular smooth rhythm. Ventriloquizing involves a method that is used to permit the subject so to engage him in a talk without closing his mouth and without moving his lips or tongue. (Pedrini; Pedrini, n. d.)

Pantomime is essentially performing the articulatory practice in the absence of uttering the words in a loud manner. This constitutes an endeavor to educate the stutterer. Fake stuttering is a group method in which the stutterer imitates speech features of another stutterer. A sense of control can be obtained in case the stutterer is proficient at imitating the behavior of other stutterers. In the shadowing method which is also known as echo talk or echo speech, the shutterer is oriented to repeat the things that he is hearing instantly, following nearly immediately the utterance of another person. The chewing method entails having the victim occupied in chewing motions as well as speech concurrently at the point when he is about to stutter. It is believed that this procedure concentrates on the attention of the patient on the process of chewing. (Pedrini; Pedrini, n. d.)


Stuttering is said to be a speech fluency problem mainly in children as a result of 'prolongation', 'involuntary repetition' and abrupt stoppage of 'sound'. The primary symptoms observed are prolongations while avoiding speaking constitutes secondary symptoms. The main cause of stuttering in children is because of developmental dysfluency in this population which get cured during the school going age. John Updike, James Earl Jones, King George VI and Winston Churchill were all known to suffer from stuttering. Even though the etiology of stuttering is yet to be fully understood, strong evidence points that it originates from the association of constitutional as well as environmental factors. It is largely inherited and there are increased chances to be prevalent in case of boys. Learning theories analyzing the reason behind stuttering include the semantogenic theory which puts shuttering to be primarily a learned response to normative initial childhood deficiency. Children in the school going age suffering from long-term stuttering might have impaired peer relationships.

Although current research is required to prove the intensity to which children who stutter differ from non-stuttering children in educational and social development, CWS were said to have mild intensities of difficulties in accommodating them to the educational settings maybe as a consequence of stuttering in the school setting. Besides, CWS were also observed to be more introverts. Apart from that, CWS stand at an increased danger of experiencing adverse peer interactions due to encountering bullying and teasing in school setting. As regards treatment, direct speech therapy is a proven one which generally aims at modification of the stuttering response to fluent-sounding speech by means of orderly steps as also rules of speech mechanics which the stutterer can practice.

Besides, lowering tension and anxiety while speaking also help in normal speech. Latest strategies using distraction include teaching stutterers to say in time to rhythmic movements of the hand, arm or the fingers. Current interventions for stuttering use a need-based blending of behavioral distractions, methods of relaxation as also directed speech modification. Self-therapy suggested by the Speech Foundation of America is based on the assumption that stuttering is not a symptom, albeit a behavior that can be remedied. Finally speech therapies that are used for the treatment of stuttering includes the metronome method, negative practice, voluntary stuttering, hypnosis, syllable-timed speech, ventriloquism, pantomime, fake stuttering, shadowing, the chewing method etc. with each method having its own unique approach towards treatment of stuttering.


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Retrieved 10 April, 2009 from

Sadock, Benjamin J; Kaplan,…

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