Stuttering need not affect success in life
More than 70 million people about 1 percent of the population overall worldwide are faced with overcoming stuttering, according to the Stuttering Foundation's website.
Stuttering is a condition in which speech sounds are repeated or prolonged, or punctuated by unusally long periods of silence.
During May, which is the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Better Hearing and Speech Month, the attention of speech pathologists and others is turned to the common speaking impediment, which has made communication difficult for so many people.
Roni Gardner, a speech-language pathologist at Southwestern Medical Center, said the exact causes of stuttering are unknown, but recent studies suggest genetics might play a role, with a possible neural cause. Many people who stutter have family members who suffered from the same problem.
When she was in college, Gardner said that experts thought stuttering was primarily a learned behavior, but science has shown that to be incorrect over the last 30 years or so.
She said the goal now is for stuttering to be diagnosed as early as possible, so treatment can begin, minimizing the stress the condition puts on people who are afflicted with it.