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The Neurological Causes of Stuttering

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Biology 202
2001 Second Web Report
On Serendip

The Neurological Causes of Stuttering

Claire Walker

There are 55 million people all over the world who suffer from stuttering and about 3 million live in the Unites States. This disability has been misunderstood for hundreds of years, but it affects more men then women and it often runs in the family. People who stutter when they speak are sometimes considered to be slower, mentally, then people who can speak fluently. Although research has made some progress in diagnosing the causes of stuttering, people still have preconceptions about stutterers. There are new studies being done to find genetic and neural links to explain and perhaps help cure this potentially isolating disorder.

One of the problems that stutterers face in society is the fast pace that people talk. When trying to talk in public, people will often try and finish a sentence for someone who is stuttering. This seemingly harmless act can often cause the stuttering to be worse, because the person who stutters will be more conscious of the fact that they are talking slowly and they will try to speed up, only to trip and stumble on more words. This disability is interesting because it is not always present in a stutterers daily activities. It has been found that talking to pets, singing, acting and whispering often make the disability disappear (4). On the other hand when the person has to talk to someone of authority or try to impress someone, the stuttering becomes a severe speech block (3).

This dramatic variation in speech ability lead to the investigation of the causes of stuttering. People who stutter, obviously don’t lack the ability to talk fluently but rather have an interference in that ability (3). To find out if there was a neurological link in the brain that caused people to stutter, a PET imaging study was performed comparing stutterers’ brains and non-stutterers’ brains. This study showed that stutterers may be using the right hemisphere of their brain when they are talking, which means that the left hemisphere (the one usually responsible for speech) is being interrupted (4). Stutterers still complain that when they do have to talk, they feel a lot of nervousness and stress, but doctors are now starting to think that these feelings don’t start the stuttering but rather aggravate the problem (4). The interesting thing with the brain patterns is that they are present even when the stutterers aren’t talking. When the neural activation patterns of stutters and non-stutters during silent reading of single words were compared, it was shown that although both subjects had bilateral activation of the brain, the left hemisphere of the non-stutterers had more focus, while on the other hand the right hemisphere of the stutterers showed more focus (2). Similar results were seen when the subjects were talking. An interesting thing is that even treated stutterers, who have been in speech therapy and speak fluently, still have the same bias towards the right hemisphere, although some additional activation is present in the left hemisphere of the brain.

One part of this puzzle that interests scientists the most is the fact that 50-80% of all children who stutter, grow out of the disorder as they age. It seems that intervention with children makes it possible for the stuttering to disappear. For those children who continue to stutter into adulthood, it is seen in brain scans that the neural connections are different than in ‘normal’ adults (3). This suggests that if stuttering goes uncorrected in early age, the brain starts to ‘remember’ the stuttering and builds different neural pathways so that in the future those moments are remembered and the same words cause a stutterer to trip up. In the PET scans of the brain, the stutterers’ brains showed decreased activity in the auditory cortex and hyperactivity in the speech center while reading, which means that stutterer is actually tuning himself out when he is talking, so that he cannot hear the stammering (4).

One of the main problems with the study of the neurological causes of stuttering is that “... the neural system is the central driving force behind everything we think, feel and do,” so the “understanding of the etiology of stuttering will only emerge if we understand the neural bases of human behaviour (2).” Since everyone behaves differently and develops with their own experiences, the study of linking the brain to stuttering is extremely difficult. Why do children start to stutter? Some would say that is was because of an intellectually challenging upbringing which put stress on the child’s manner of speaking. But then again many children grow up in a similar environment and do not develop a stutter. There is no single cause that can be linked to why stuttering starts, so it is no good to study the input side of the nervous system. So to reach the anticipated output (stuttering), it is important to study the cognitive, linguistic, motor and other capacities of each stutterer (2). Such a study involves packaging all of the speech problems associated with the nervous system into a “fluency generating system (Watson & Freeman, 1997)”. This sort of study would try and find out what neural mechanism may lead to the development of stuttering in an individual (2).

One group of researchers found a connection between the functioning of the lateral and medial areas of the brain and stuttering. The lateral area of the brain controls the formation of words (Broca’s area), muscle movements (motor areas) and the understanding of language (Wernicke’s area) in what is know as closed-loop motor control (1). Using this area of the brain, stutterers can talk fluently, but they have to pay close attention to their speech, which as a result is slowed considerably (1). On the other hand, the medial area of the brain controls the open-loop motor control, which involves retrieving preprogrammed motor programs from memory and using them without feedback. This means that rapid speech can be produced with little effort, but since there is no error regulation stutterers will continually make the same mistakes in their speech pattern, especially when talking in a pressured situation (1).

So, stuttering has been linked to differing neural patterns, but why does stuttering cause different parts of the brain to be more active? One idea is called the Valsalva Mechanism, which is a natural bodily function, but it may turn the extra effort put into speech into the block that stutterers fight with everyday (3). The Valsalva Maneuver was named after an Italian anatomist, Anton Maria Valsalva and its purpose is to bring more air pressure into the lungs to help a person exert more force on an object, such as weight lifters who hold their breath when lifting large masses. (3). To create more air pressure in the lungs, the abdomen muscles contract and press against the diaphragm, which in turn presses up on the chest cavity. For this mechanism to increase the air pressure in the lungs, the larynx has to tighten around the airway so that the air cannot escape and this is called the effort closure (3). All of the muscles involved in the Valsalva mechanism are connected neurologically, so that they can all contract at the same time and with the same force (3).

The reason that this mechanism is thought to be tied to stuttering is because stutterers put a lot of force and effort into the words that they stumble over. This force causes the lips and tongue of the stutterer to press harder together, thus creating more air pressure in the lungs, but also causing speech difficulties (3). Fluent speech actually requires very little effort, so when a stutter puts a lot of effort into speaking the Valsalva Mechanism does what it is supposed to do, it is an instinctive reaction when we are trying to force something out of the body (3). This confusion between the Valsalva mechanism and the neurological components of speech can happen because there is neurological tuning involved in the motor neurons that control all the muscles involved in a movement, this includes speech (3).

What really happens during a stutterers speech is not wholly known, but if we take an example of someone stuttering on a word starting with p, say plane, then the brain remembers that p-words were difficult to say. Thus the brain ‘thinks’ that more effort has to be put into saying p-words, so the Valsalva mechanism kicks into gear and the stutterer is left squeezing their lips and trying to get any p-word to come out of their mouth (3). What makes p-words difficult for many stutterers is the fact that you have to close your lips, momentarily, to build up a little air pressure to say p-words. However if the nervous system is too excitable the brain may misinterpret this signal to mean that a Valsalva maneuver is being started and thus try and shut the air in the lungs, making speech very difficult (3).

This mechanism makes it extremely hard for stutterers to overcome their speech impediment, because even after they have gone to therapy and worked on slowing their speech, many stutterers relapse within a few weeks. Other treatments, such as electronic anti-stuttering devices, have been used with some optimistic results. Such devices allow the stutterer to listen to their own speech slowed down, which causes the use of the closed-loop system (1). Some researchers and doctors are hopeful that a drug treatment will be available for stutterers in the near future, because of the possibility of altering the way a stutterer’s brain functions. Genetic studies are also being carried out to see if a specific gene can be labeled as the cause of stuttering, in which case gene therapy would be an option.

WWW Sources

1)Neurology of Stuttering. Stuttering: Science, Therapy & Practice, A very interesting summary of the different hypotheses about the cause of stuttering. Offers some good clinical trials information.

2)Some thought on the multidimensional nature of stuttering from a neurophysiological perspective, A good place to find out some connections between Neurophysiological causes of stuttering.

3)The Valsalva Mechanism: A key to understanding and controlling stuttering, Made some interesting connections between a normal bodily mechanism and its connection to stuttering.

4)U.S. News & World Report (April 2, 2001, pp 44-51). Anatomy of a Stutter: New findings from brain studies and genetics are illuminating the causes of this ancient affliction. This article touched on some of the newest studies relating stuttering to the nervous system.



Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)
09/25/2005, from a Reader on the Web

i try very hard to not stutter, not sure why it happens more with some people, an not others im 50yrs and thought i had gotten over the fustration,, but it still happens,,, many has suggested things to do ,,, but they just dont understand... my thoughts are a lot faster, than my speech,i also try and choose my words carefuly,, in order to use less words,, to make the same point, when this i find that most people, dont pay close attention to what im saying,, so i find myself having to say it again some people i feel thinks im not intellegent,and lacks knowledge about things, thats not the case at all,but still im judged about my trurhfulness when trying to explain my views,, after 50 years im still having to deal with stigma thats comes with this disiability,,, i welcome any information that will help me, does this disiability qulifies a person social security. thanks for this place to vent...

11/23/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I find it EXTREMELY fustrating for people to cut me off when im talking.I try so speak louder just to get my point across and it seems that EVERYBODY knows why I stutter.If it was that simple dont they think i would have "cured" it a long time ago.People dont know what its like to have to speak and nobody listens. That last comment i feel is really close to what I go through

11/30/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Quite a bit has been written on the subject of stuttering and stammering. The notion that stutterers have lower IQ's is more prejudical than scientic fact. In my case, I have a MS is Education and Career Guidance. Stuttering in fact affects the general population more evenly and may suggest that those that do stutter may have higher IQ's rather than lower IQ's. Aristotle was said to have a severe speech defect and tried to "cure" the problem by putting small stones in his mouth and alter speech patterns. Whether this worked or not no one really knows. In my own case, I've stuttered since I started talking, and certain "triggers" set into motion abnormal speech. These triggers include, but are not limited to: excessive noise, cognizant words that I trip on, having a lucid fluid sentence with someone, only to have the listener say "huh,"and having someone be impatient or trying to finish thought. Chances are the repeating the sentence is more of frustration of having someone not listen nor pay attention to what I may be saying. In this way, I may reason that what I may be saying is really not important and self-esteem then becomes an issue. While speaking in front of a large gathering of people frightens most stutterers, I have little problem standing on a dais lecturing or reciting a written passage to peers or strangers. Learned behavior and breathing patterns are probably the two big culprits, and I have noticed that in my case, I try to speak without taking a breath. Try this: let all the air of your lungs, then try to speak! This can't be done. In a program run by the University of Southern California in the 1970's, controlled speech therapy by having the subject speak more slower and have the air flow through the larynx by exaggerating longer sounds. There have been many therapies and while a lot of these work, some are better than others depending on the stutterer.


Additional comments made prior to 2007
hello my name is steve, I am 15 years old and have trouble with speaking. I know it's because of stuttering. I would like to know a way to GROW OUT of stuttering. Even though I'm just like every other teenagers, i feel differnt because I know some girls wouldnt want to go out on a date with me just because of the fact I stutter. Also, I found out when I was in 8th grade I liked to read a lot to the class, even though I would stutter a lot, I kind of grew out of that. And everytime I were to read I would get better and better until I wouldnt even stutter anymore. But now that I'm in the 10 grade I feel embarrashed when I read. And I know I wouldnt be able to like to read like I did when I was in 8th grade. Also, another thing about my stuttering, when I'm by myself I can talk and talk and talk without stuttering once, but when I'm with some of my friends,family or anything I stutter. I don't understand it!!! And when I'm on the phone I become extremly nervious and when!
the person picks up it may take me a second to react!

Please respond to me about this! I would really appriacate it!
Thank you very much ... Steve, 29 January 2006



I have had a brain disease called Primary Cerebellar Ataxia, for 14 years. I am 51 yrs old. I never stuttered until I contracted this disease. Sometimes I stutter, sometimes I don't. Mostly,I slur my words as if I'd had a stroke. This disease affects all my motor skills, i.e., walking, balance, body movements, and my speech patterns, too. I often find that people finish my sentences for me, and it IS frustrating, making me even more aware of my problem. I read your article with great interest. I am in the process of inquiring further into a Speech Easy device for my ear. I wonder if any drug treatment has been put on the market yet, as was discussed in the bottom of the article? If so, I'd be very interested in hearing about it. I figure that although I may not have the same "background reasons" for my stuttering, I AM still a stutterer sometimes, and am trying desperately, as is everyone else, to find a cure so I can have a normal conversation with people again, and more importantly, use the telephone myself. Thanks for listening, and I hope to hear back ... Vicki Coy, 3 April 2006



Im 14 and I studder. It's really hard for me right now . I can't even raise my hand in class and It's effecting my grades bacause I know If I could talk I could do better. I can barely have a conversation with my friends and my family annoy's me bacause they tell me to slow don tap my leg and it dont help they dont know what it's like not being able to talk on the phone. My mom looked into a ear piece called the fluency master. I was getting all exited but it's been a year. I dont think she's relly tried her hardest. why did she have to put that in my head well I have to go ... Cody, 10 May 2006



I am 41 years old and I have stuttered all but the last two years of my life. I have a device called a fluency master and it has dramatically cut down on my stuttering. I use to always hate it when someone would finish my sentences for me, or laugh at me. We are not dumb and we are not uncordinated. Over the course of my life I have had some nasty things said to me. Everyone who stutters can say that. If you saw two co workers looking at you and then each other and then laugh, what would you think they are laughing about? Peple can be so ignorant. Stuttering is something that is so misunderstood. I had a great grandfather on my fathers side that stuttered some and my uncle on Moms side stutters severely. This disorder makes you think you are substandard as a person ... Carl Jenkins, 27 May 2006



I have been stuttering all of my life, so did my brother. people have teased and made to look stupid for most of that life. I had to learn the hard way that they were the ones that were spudid not me. I have accepted the fact that i will stutter for the rest of my life so why not embress it , since it is a part of me. if you accept me as a friend or loved one uoy will have to accept the stuttering too ... Phillip Sloan, 23 August 2006



Come from a family of late bedwetters and also stutters. Have partical seizures, take gabapentin daily. Suddenly find that I really don't stutter.Thought I'd share this with you. Also note that one the during the times when I think that I am going to stutter; I find an abnormality in my breathing process. For me there are or rather where many types of stuttering. One where I have so much to say that the words trip over each other as I can't say evrything at once. Two; when I am so nervous that I can't even say "Hello' on thre telepone. Or three; just can't say what I want to. Oh, but I sing very well ... Kathleen Edsall, 21 October 2006



By the age of 24 I earned the equivalent of a masters degree in stuttering. No one could stutter more often that I.

I was shy, lonely, anti social, and neurotic.

I began to keep a written record of every frustrating incident in my life. I always concluded these written comments with a self administerd pat on my back to invigorate, my then, non existant, self esteem.

After numerous entries I began to realize the my stutteing was related to my self esteem. When I attempted to avoid noting my frustrations, my stuttering resumed. When I resumed my notations, the stutteing disappeared.

I believe that, by my 26th year, I have had no recureence of stutteing. I lost my shyness, my neurosies and my low self esteem. I am 80 years old now. No one believes that I was once a stutterere ... Julius Silverman, 30 November 2006



For over the past year or so, i cant really pin point when i first noticed my inability to get things out as fast as my brain was thinking. Or picking and choicing words or phrases that i can get out with less of a pause or stuttering. I dont show signs of it all the time, but enough to where it affects my relationships with my friends and my ability to go out and meet new people. Now my questions is related to drugs and can they cause stuttering. I ask this because when i first started using i showed no signs of a stutter/speech problem. This was a lil more then 3 years ago, now for a year or so i think my inability to say what i want it pissing me off. So any information regarding drugs use causing stuttering or stressful environments causing this...Anything from anyone regarding this would be great ... Taylor, 2 March 2007



When I speak, i sometimes feel the lack of confidence thats why i stutter...but when i feel ok and confident, i can speak real good and clear...i have a scar on my face thats why i became conscious of my environment that i felt all people are focused on me when i speak...i feel that they are looking at my scar thats why i feel nervous and shy--it makes me a good singer and i won singing contests...i play piano...i paint...i cook...i write poems, essays, very good at it....i won several awards and recognitions for my talent and creativeness...i have an IQ of 126 (highly intelligent)...its just that im lacking of self confidence that i stutter when im nervous or shy...i think a healthy diet and lifestyle, a good family relation and communication will help alot to people like us who stutter ... Kurt, 16 March 2007



With all the speech therapy that could be crammed into me from as far back as I can remember, and probably much longer, for the first 32 years of my life I existed in the increasingly self-limiting spirit- breaking world stutterers grudging get used to. Of course, I did receive a ray of hope when I last saw my therapist of 2 years at the end of 6th grade and we agreed that I should expect a fluency rate of 60%.

Well, 20 years later, I walked into the office of a doctor for another matter entirely and he prescribed some pills. I took them that night and by maybe the next day or two, I no longer stuttered. And 26 years later I still haven't, except for the time when another doctor briefly took me off the anti-seizure medicine (Tegretol) I had been put on.

I hope stutterers will be given a basic neurological exam or, simply, tried out on an anti-seizure medication to see if it might help. Some may even be "cured" and allowed to live a fullfilling, well rounded life ... Jonathan Kleid, 29 May 2007



I stuttered so bad all the way up until my late teens that I had to write down what I was going to say before I made a phone call. Often people would hang up on me before I could get through a sentence. I almost failed every grade, and always thought I was stupid as so I was treated, even by my family.

I also had terrible acne and because we moved a lot I was usually the new weird looking kid who was easy to pick on. I made humor of my stuttering to win friends and to keep safe even if they were laughing more often at me than with me.

I moved out while we were living in Huntsville,Alabama as I was almost 18 and wanted to finish high school with my new friends I had made, rather than move to Ohio and have to start all over again. I also had my first girlfriend, Clair. I could fake playing the guitar and found that I did not stutter when I sang, and my girl loved to sing harmony.

A little more than a year prior to this I was living in Bay St Louis, Mississippi and use to hitch hike quite a bit as I liked meeting strangers and pretending that I was somebody else.

While hitching one day I met a most lovely and deeply southern couple. They were in their late forties and were recently married. After a short while riding and chatting from the back seat up to the two of them, the lady turned to me a said "You stutter don't you?" "Well I'm going to tell you the same thing I told my last husband who also stuttered, this one is my third." she interrupted her preaching with a big gleaming smile as she patted her husbands shoulder.and then continued her sermon. "When you find somebody who you can believe really loves you, you will stop stuttering." The words meant something to me but I would not fully digested their meaning for years to come.

Back to Alabama, may be six months after my parents moved I got kicked out of school because they found out I was living alone while working as a janitor to pay my rent. This gave me a lot more time to confront my relationship with myself.

I tested Clair in every way to prove she did not love me. For many years before Clair I had pretended to be somebody new with almost every group of people I had ever met and had so many lies about me I could not remember all that was true. I exposed all that I could of this to her and still she wanted me. As my esteem grew I tested her in worse ways like fooling around with casual friends. We almost made it to the other side of my testing but she too injured to recover finally dumped me, just as I began to understand that she had truly loved ME.

The point of the story is that the more present I became and spontaneously honest the less I stuttered. I stopped stuttering for the most part by the time I was 19. Presently 54, I am happily married for three years to my first wife, am a municipal Judge, a therapist for twenty something years, and a portrait painter.

Consciously finding oneself connected beyond reason (another way to say finding LOVE), is always good therapy and perhaps a cure for many cases of stuttering ... Grant Freeman, 20 August 2007



i have a stuttering problem which has stuck by me since i was in the first grade. it was hard at first because i couldnt barely get my words and the kids at school would pick and mock me. i used to cry to my mom about it because i felt different from the other kids. she thought it was something temporarily but it wasnt. still to this very day, i have a stuttering problem. no body really picks on me about it because its very unnoticeable. i try my best not to stammer or mess up when i'm speaking but i get really anxious and excited and i just go away with it. my family jumps down my throat about me taking my time because they want to understand what i be saying sometimes but i can't help it. my fiance barely knows it because when i'm around him, i don't stutter. but if i'm around alot of people or with someone i don't know, then i will definitly stutter. as a new mom, i question myself rather or not my little girl will stutter or if i can prevent that from happening ... Porsche McGill, 3 November 2007


Lizzy's picture

i have stuttered since i could talk and i am about to be 17.

Why i dont get it i have stuttered since i could talk it comes and goes but its coming back hard now. what do i do

karen's picture


I am not sure but I think stress makes me stutter more.I didm't used to at all.

Arvind k's picture


I am 22 years old residing in India, Bangalore
Since my childhood as i can remember i have been facing this problem particularly in English other languages doesn't bother me much... It's this frustration i hve bn going through since school days that i can read, write and even speak fluently when im alone.... But the same doesn't go well around with ppl..i forget words and i stress words more than i usually do, it really kills me Everytime
I commit mistakes very often which makes me feel like a loser, on the contrary back home nothing stops me from speaking fluently
Im awestruck at what's happening with me
Y can't i do it what i easily do at home
Plz help me out to overcome this problem also educate me if this is some kind of oral disease

I will be greatly indebted to u

Serendip Visitor's picture


Hi, I'm a final year student. And I'm currently working on my project.
I'd be really grateful if I could get more informations on the psycholinguistic study of stuttering in children.

Kay's picture

Working in Customer Service

As a young child, I had a stuttering problem that developed. I went to a speech therapist and it seemed to help. As I got older it wasn't as bad and was what I would consider mild. I'm now 49 and have been working as a customer service rep on the phone for the last 4 years. A couple of years ago my stuttering came back and is now affecting my work. I do believe that stress and anxiety has really compounded it. It has become so frustrating when I'm working because I'm on the phone 100% of the time. I've tried different things to calm down while working and it has helped to some degree. Slowing down and trying to enunciate each word has helped. I also found that moving my hands (hand gestures) while I'm working also really works for me. For some reason, if I focus on watching my hands while talking, it really cuts down on the stuttering.
I too have dealt with customers that laugh on the other end of the phone. It can be very frustrating!
I have the most amazing boss that is very supportive and encouraging otherwise I probably would have quit awhile ago.

I started searching online about stuttering. I came across a video about Vice President Joe Biden that I found amazing. He used to be a stutterer . He said to "not let it define you". Such wise words!!


Serendip Visitor's picture

help me get rid of my stutter

help me get rid of my stutter my mum hates it and this is getting me more nervous,annoyed

jswetzel's picture


My husband died at 55 years of false swallowing. He was a cronic stutterer since childhood. He had therapy throughout his life. I and our children heard what he said and were not aware of the problem. I search to understand.

arun kumar's picture

shuttering more in one language

I have shuttering problem since my childhood. now my age is father also shutters, he died when I was brother also shutters.But my brother speaks fast so people do not get what he speaks and his problem as well.As far as I remember I was afraid of speaking in my childhood so I always escape from situations where I need to talk. Even sometimes I can even spell a letter . It will take lot of time for me start sentence.and I always thought it is because my father had the same problem.But during my graduation I realized importance of talking or whatever. So I had treatment.i had taken treatment in my mother tongue (TELUGU). they told me about breath exercise and reading out loudly. but at that time I did not practice them treatment did show me much improvement.

after my graduation I joined MNC. now I am practicing all exercises that they instructed. it slow up my speech rate. now it I can fell improvement . but when I am trying speak in english problem still there. even in my mother tongue also i still have problem but not much as before. but while speaking english it is taking hell out of me. I am trying my best I could but no improvement.
sometimes i think my thinking is faster than my speech so I shutters. what I asking here is what ever methods now I am following are good to continue or shall I consult any one and practice new methods.i want to buy any anti stammering electronic devices if they really help.I like to know such kind of device price as well. any kind of suggestion is greatly welcome.

Aminu's picture


Hi there, i am young boy, i was 20 years old, my problem mainly stutter im start doing stutter when i was 7 years, if iam trying to say somethin at the front of peoples the stutter has just comn to me, sometime i was repeat one word i cant pass it, or the speech does not come out at all, please i need ur hlp

Serendip Visitor's picture

stammering and IQS

Greetings Beloved.
let me also share my part since i stutter. Am 24 years old and my twin siz and I do stutter.
I want to just disaggre that stutters have a low IQ compared to non-stutters. This is actually not true. People who stutter, either have same IQ with non-stutterer or high IQ than them. Since the time my twin n I were in kindergarten and now university graduates, we have always topped or we were among the tops in our classes. We are generally very wise. Our siblings and our parents dont stutter, but we performed far much better than them.. That tells you that stammering and IQs are not _vely related.

2. Stammering is genetical. Funny enough I used to wonder where me and my twin got stuttering from, because all our 4 siblings, and parents dont stammers at all. Looking around, even my cousins, aunties and uncles dont stammer, so myself i had concluded that our case was just an 'unfortunate' case. Until recently , i met my dads cousin who is very old, approx 70 years old, and to my suprise he does stutter. Well i conluded thats at least there is smh we came from and though only 3 of a very big leneage, 'notice the cousin to my dad' is 70 and we are 24 atleast there are some stuttering genes and am sure looking kennely there some who used used to stutter before they died or are still alive but i havent met them.

We havent ever gone to a speech therapy, that couldnt have happened growing in an african country and parent who have never had anything like speech therapy. So we just grew with our stuttering issue, i dont call it a problem. I thank God so much, coz if i can be honest, I have never ever being disturbed my my state. Am confident, have a high self esteem, i dnt avoid people and I dont fell lesser than non-stutters. God in His own ways made sure that me and my twin werent disturbed by our state, our value doesnt come from how we talk but on who God has defined us to be.

I notice that people also admire us, because of other personalities in us which we havent allowed stuttering to affect our other good and God given abilities. Both of us do sing, we've melodical voices, well, thank God people dont stammer as they sing

Well, i dont know if its really possible and mostly as an adult am (24) but i would surely want a way to alleviate the stuttering. If there are viable and working principles, I would apply them, thats why I came to this site.

Some things that do help me is.
1. Replacing words which are difficult to 'come' out.
1. Stopping when I realize I will stummer and say the word again. IF i repeat i will not stummer.

But again in some situations I cant avoid, i just stammer, words refuse to come through betwenn my toungue and teeth. The struggle is real, and I hope those I talk to will always understand.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Letters on which I stutter

Hi All
I usually stutter on letters like T,K, Ch, P. Normally the voices that require force to come out. Else I am very fluent. Can anybody please help?

I am 31

Serendip Visitor's picture

Letters on which you stutter

Have you tried adopting aspects of smooth speech? There is no cure for stutter, although spontaneous recovery is common in young children, and techniques for managing your stutter may be more helpful.

The Lindcombe program helps stuttered adopt only the aspects of smooth speech that may be helpful. It's not a miracle cure, but it can aide fluency. It's similar to singing (which you can't stutter during) but can be used to sound very natural gradually.

I wish you all the best.

Serendip Visitor's picture


This isn't on the subject of shuddering.I w this girl i like in school.i like her she's nice we are freinds but i have these hallucinations of when I'm driving down the highway she pops up and. er coat gets stuck in the door and she gets draggedh down the highway i know it isn't real but i still pull over to help her up but she just stays there in my mind and when i get over it it just makes me depressed you can kik me at monkeyface830

Ngoc's picture

I need help with my stutting probem :(

I am 41 and my stuttering is getting very bad when I am in a group meeting with bunch of comfortable people. I got the work done but when it came to explain my concepts, I feel like I have a hard time to breathe and my voice is very shaky and nervous. I am fine when I'm at home talking with my family. :(

Lauren Kathleen's picture

I am eighteen years old and

I am eighteen years old and have stuttered since I was about seven years old. I am involved in quite a few Christian ministries and speak in front of crowds quite often. I have noticed that I do not stutter around the people I am most comfortable around and do not stutter as much when I am talking about something that I know about and something that I am confident about. I have dated the same guy for 4 years and at this point I do not stutter around him at all. It is important to calm down and take big deep breaths before you start speaking. Yesterday my best friend told me that now she has developed a stuttering problem because she had been hanging around me too long. This hurt my feelings because I would not wish a speech problem on anyone. So i was just wondering if anyone knew if that could be true? Can someone develop a stuttering problem by being around someone who stutters?

Serendip Visitor's picture

Contracting stutters

I'm a speech pathology student studying stuttering, and no you can't develop a stutter by hanging around someone who stutters.

Stuttering is exacerbated by anxiety, tiredness and a whole lot of other factors, but most people who develop a stutter have a family history of it. A tiny percentage of people with stutterers develop them as a result of trauma.

I think it is likely that either your friend was predisposed to stutter, or she doesn't actually have a stutter and if only noticing her disfluencies more. All people experience disfluencies to varying degrees, and some of these are stutter-like.

Sorry you've been hurt by her foolish comment and good luck with treatment.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Stuttering is not

Stuttering is not contagious.. Its a disorder not a virus that spreads

Serendip Visitor's picture

Elite Triathlete- English Stutterer.

I am 19 years old Elite Triathlete, and I have been stuttering since I was 16. I only started noticing it during a class presentation in High School Grade 11. I agree with everything. However, when I go and present in my first language which is Hebrew, I never stutter in-front of anybody! In-fact, I am more confident than the people who do not stutter. Why is that every time I try to speak in English, I stutter to the pint where I get this sudden block! and cant say anything for about 1 minute? I call somebody, they answer, and all of the sudden, I find myself not able to spit ANY WORD! But still, I do not understand, why does this only happen in English for me? and more importantly, how do I fix this? Now, I have gotten to the point where in grade 12, and University, I cant talk in class since I am scared I might get that sudden block! where I start a sentence, stutter on a certain word, and will not even be able to get my point across, eventually in-front of everyone I will freeze up. This issue started for me at age 16. For the past 3 years I have been neglecting phone calls, holding back from participating in discussions, some discussions were possible life-changing ones. The most hurtful moment was in Grade 12 English were in every presentation I would stutter. I would get so angry and frustrated at myself during the presentation that sometimes I would force myself to close my eyes and work as hard as I can to start the sentence with THAT specific word which I practiced with, even if I would have to say the first SOUND of that word 20 times. Grade 12 English is a class that incorporates a lot of class discussions, I think that the assignment which affected me the most was when we had group discussions with the teacher. The group was made up of 5 students who read a specific book for the entire semester and each student had to share his/her thoughts in that discussion. We never took turns and always jumped from topic to topic. The teacher said "It is your responsibility to participate, we have a specif time limit for each group and we will not wait for you." Unfortunately everything went by so fast for me that even when I felt so confident to say something, someone else started talking. It was so frustrating and humiliating because I did have bright opinions to say in each discussion. I just could not, because I would start stuttering. Eventually JUST BECAUSE OF MY STUTTERING problem, I have finished the course with a 53%. I had to go and spend a whole summer taking this course again so that I could get accepted to University. My stuttering problem is not gone and I do not know who to get assistance from, because it is hurting my life and it is holding me back. I used to be a good, confident student, outgoing, and helping others. I am very lucky not to be stuttering in Hebrew, and the only thing that is giving me confidence in life is Triathlon.

Barbara Hullett's picture

Valsalva Mechanism.... Eureka, Stuttering. Explained

Finally, an accurate description of stuttering. Its hard to explain to someone who doesn't stutter. Fluent speakers trip over words sometimes, but I try to explain to them, its different. I dealt with undiagnosed depression throughout high school and until age 26, solely due to my severe stutter. I finally decided to take matters into my own hands to cure myself, since i never recieved speech therapy as a child. I wrote scripts before i made phone calls. If i was going on a job interview i wrote scripts and practiced them like an actor. If i had to adlib it didnt phase me as much because i had been prepared for the majority of answers, and my confidence was up. By the time I was 40 i had actually forgotten that i used to stutter until oneday when a coworker made a snide remark about caller's speech impediment. It made me so angry and i raled into her.. I said "I used to stutter, and the biggest fear I had were people like you, thinking I'm stupid and making fun of me once I was out of earshot. The most courageous thing that man did today, was dial the phone and talk to you. You might as well point and laugh at someone in a wheelchair, they have a disability, too. " at that moment all the hurt and self-esteem issues came rushing back like a flood, but i was glad i put her in her place. She got the message.

Jodi Smallwood's picture

i have studdered for almost 50 yrs and my 22 yr old daughter as

I wanted everyone to read this I found this and printed copies for 3 of my bosses to read so they may understand a little better where people like us are coming from. Even at 49 yrs old I cried the whole time I read most of this because it is so true and so real for us. Please I want you to know you are not alone we are awsome people who work, raise good children and live good lives but have trouble speaking. This does not make us bad people. I recomend anyone who has a ignorant boss that has said SPIT IT OUT when your trying to talk to them or a family member who has done this to you at one time or another please print this out for them and leave it for them to read. YOUR FREIND JODI

The Problem With Current Speech Therapy Techniques

The way I describe the mental process of stuttering is that your brain puts stumbling blocks or "walls" at certain key words you are preparing to say like you would punctuation in a sentence. The commas go here, here and here and I am going to stutter on this "p," this "g," and that "sh."

Like many if not most stutterers my parents took me to a number of speech therapists to try to get help. I recently did an Internet search to see if the same inefficient - if not downright counterproductive - tactics were being used today as they were when I was a child and regrettably they are. Let's look at some of the basic tenets of speech therapy as it pertains to stuttering and the their ramifications.

Slow Down

The idea behind the "slow down" recommendation is that the impediment is a product of the stutterer being exited and trying to say too much too fast. In fact, the human brain is cable of allowing us to talk at approximately 150 words per minute, listen and comprehend at around 450 words per minute and accumulate thoughts and words for communication many times faster even than that.

Slowing down actually gives you much better and many more opportunities to stutter because you don't build up a head of steam to pass a wall before it can form or break through it with sheer momentum.

Think About What You are Going to Say

"Take a deep breath and think very hard about what it is that you are going to say." In case you had not already erected the walls in anticipation of what you were going to try to communicate now is the perfect time to do so.

From the mentality of a non-stutterer this makes perfect sense. If you breathe deeply, talk slowly, and think about what you say before you speak even a hysterical disaster victim can regain their ability to communicate. Why wouldn't the same be true for stutterers?

Because we are stutterers. It is like telling a blind man if you turn up the lights, put on glasses and squint you should be able to read the newspaper. Stuttering is a physical condition, not a behavioral or attitudinal disorder. The way to keep stuttering at bay is not to adopt the tactics that work for non-stutterers but to understand why and when you stutter and make a "work-around" that will make it seem as though you don't stutter at all. Like a blind woman who memorizes every inch and obstacle of her house so that, to an unaware observer, she does not appear blind at all.

Chapter 4

Gemma's picture

We all have our story to tell

I have stuttered since i was 4. Thats when my mum realised i had a problem. Life has been very challenging to say the least, as we know. I have had a few different types of treatment. I had speech therapy in primary school and then in high school i decided i wanted help. I needed help. I was doing oral presentations at school and it was becoming a lot more involved.
I went to a course in Melbourne, AUSTRALIA. It was called smooth speech. IT WORKS!!!
I came out of there smooth as can be!!
You a retrained to talk again!! It can become frustrating but it really has saved me.
I'll give you all the tips i learnt.

We did a lot of exercises reading, talking, phone, group conversation.
Your speech rate is your key factor to smooth speech - Start at 80spm and work your way to 120 or comfort rate after doing each exercise until u get the technique.

1. Slow your speech rate - most of the time we stutter because we talk to fast!!
2. Soft on sets/ slide in - be gentle on your words... and slide through the word.
3. Stretching your words - You need to stretch out your words.
4. Linking your words - You cant be choppy. Thats why we stutter. Link one word to another.
5. Breathe - remember to breathe.

This works!! YOU need to slow down, be gentle, MOST IMPORTANT stretching your words and linking them together!!

We have all tried all different types of treatment. This is what works for me mostly. My problem is i talk to fast.

Most importantly you need your friends and family by your side. If they dont stutter they dont know what its like!! The pain we go through, embarrassment and physical feelings we have to live with everyday!!
You need them to understand you and what you go through.
My biggest hate is when people finish your sentences!!! As we all experience!!
We all need to have self belief in our selves that we are worthy of ourselves!!

I also remembered i have a book called 'the stutters survival guide' - I cant remember who its by.
There is so much information on stuttering theses days im sure you will all find some help.

One interesting factor i found out this that stuttering mostly common in boys then girls and if you are a girl and havent grown out of it by roughly by the age of 9-10 you'll have it forever!! Sadly!!

I wish you all the best!!!!

Anmol's picture


there is any medicine 4 this? :(

DHT's picture

stammering exercise

Dear Sir,

I am one of stammerers to whom life is painful.
I need not tell you, what is a life for us.
whenever there is any spare time I engaged in searching the cure.
My age is 43 Years, since childhood I am suffering

I seen your mail, And I felt very good.

I have noted down your tips to cure stammering.

Sir, Please share with me, if you know any other tips.


dany's picture

Help me fight my stutter plizzz

i am 14 years old from Kenya in Africa i have been stuttering since 7th grade i realy need 2 stop.i cant afford 2 go and see a therepist so i have 2 face this chalange alone..the only thing i cant understand is y i cant stutter when i talk 2 my self,but i really stutter alot when i talk to friends or family members.plizz email me on what to do email is my kik username is dmbugus plizz help me fight this chalange before it gets worse.....i begg u plizz help me fight this challange

Brian's picture


Hi, I know the pain of stuttering and not be able to express your thoughts... I'm 40 years old and have been stuttering for many years. I've tried so hard to not stutter but the harder I try not to stutter, then I end up stuttering more....
I wish I had an answer for you, but there is no cure for stuttering... I do recommend trying to build your self confidence up in other ways in your life, that will not cure the stuttering, but will over time reduce it some.. I wish you the very best in life. Remember, there is many of us in this world that is suffering like you and sometimes even more..

Joe's picture

It is tough

I read the many comments from stutters and grieved. It feels like a trap. I have stuttered my entire life. I am 59. When I was in college I underwent speech therapy for about 4 months. We used a listening device that provided a cadence and the goal was to say a word with each beat of the cadence. I was able to speak fluently using that tool, but of course it was not practical at that time to pack around a huge machine with me to support my daily conversations. However, I convinced myself that my stuttering could be controlled in certain situations. For me, self confidence was the key. I found my stuttering grew worse when I was in stressful situations, such as starting a new job. It was most pronounced when I had to ask a question; What, Why Where, ... Of course, the more I stuttered, the more self-conscious I became, which resulted in more stuttering.
I strongly encourage people who suffer from this problem seek out a good speech therapist who can help you find ways to restore your self confidence.

Belinda's picture


I'm 47 and epileptic I have had numerous seizures in a short time. I've been fallin etc for a year and found out I have low b12 so am on my 3rd week of shots. I started speech problems then. i looked like when it first happened that i was badly beaten. Past few days I wake after a good sleep and first @2sentence sound really good but I start to stutter and stamp per. If I talk fast I repeat words like crazy if I slow down I loose sounds. I can't see all my words in my head when I do they float and I feel like I'm grasping them. I have some stress and sadness but I so love my job. Pretty outgoing and happy before this happened. I was told my b12 low my Dilantin levels high, now ok and that I had a reaction to dye from a cat scan done the day before hum. Is it in my head or did I do something wrong? How do I fix this? I'm having a hard time with it. Thanks

Brad's picture

Too much emphasis on speech therapy

I will admit, first, that I am a former stutterer. I started stuttering around age four and continued for about ten years. I'm now 23, and I have not stuttered for almost ten years. Much in the same way that the causes of stuttering are unknown, the reason that I happened to stop, seemingly overnight, is unknown to me. I'm certainly biased because of my experience, and I do not at all disagree with the fact that speech therapy can be beneficial, but I do tend to question those who would put small children into a speech therapy program. Although speech therapy as well as a speech resource class at my elementary school were available, I never had any sort of speech intervention. Furthermore, I would contend that for many children, particularly those who are less outgoing and perhaps more self-conscious than others, speech intervention could be damaging in and of itself. This argument tends to follow the same theory that has now become the basis for mainstreaming students with learning disabilities into regular education classes, rather than keeping them in self-contained rooms. Repeatedly treating a child as though their speech needs to be repaired or corrected, especially when evidence suggests that stress may in fact be a trigger for stuttering, does not seem to be particularly beneficial. Again, this is not intended to discount anyone's positive experience with speech therapy, this is just my opinion - based on my experience. And I really only wanted to point this out because it seems that so many people, including doctors and educators, want to push children into speech classes as soon as possible to help the child overcome stuttering. I just can't help but wonder, again considering my experience, if that is the wisest choice.

As a sidenote, it has been so long since I have had an issue with stuttering that I can barely remember stuttering. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but it seems almost as if it happened to someone else, and I was just there to witness it. I can't really remember the frustration of it, or even the sounds that gave me the most trouble (other than any sentence starting with the word "I" which came out more like "I-I-I-I-I-I-I"). I was just wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

Gigi's picture

Need advised

Hi I'm 39 years old I've stuttering my whole life, my family used to make fun of me all the time,in school people also make fun of me. Don't know what happened to me? I still remember when I was a little girl like4 years old my Mom used to scared me every night so I can go to sleep fast,don't know If that affected me and caused this stuttering. I'm a supervisor in a retail company but I can not get a promotion probably because of this problem,most of the people without experience had get promotions in a short period of time. I tried not to show people my sadness, the pain, suffering and sometimes I asked God why me? When I sing or talk to my self I don't stutter. This had affected me a lot and sometimes I think to kill my self but I love my kids so much, they need me. Night time is when all the emotions hit me the most and cry,cry that I have to take a Xanax to calm me down and fall sleep. Please help me I'm tired of living in this inferno.

Brian's picture


You're not alone, I'm 40 years old and stutter to the point that often I can't even get words out. I've read that its caused by an involuntary act of the locking of the vocal cords. I know that's its very disabling and extremely misunderstood.. I really need help so desperately.. My whole life is continuing to fall apart. I am very scared of becoming homeless and God knows what else.

I don't know why this happens, but people have no sympathy for a stutterer.. A true stutter's life is a living hell everyday.

I truly wish you and everyone else that stutter's some tranquility and success!

Lee''s picture

Techniques that have worked for me

I am 55 years old and attending college to get my degree in Psychology. I have stuttered since I was in the 3rd grade. I do not know what made me start stuttering but I have never let it stop me from achieving my goals. I find it interesting that "the lateral area of the brain controls the formation of words (Broca’s area), muscle movements (motor areas) and the understanding of language (Wernicke’s area) in what is know as closed-loop motor control [and]...stutterers can talk fluently, but they have to pay close attention to their speech, which as a result is slowed considerably". In addition to "the medial area of the brain controls the open-loop motor control, which involves retrieving preprogrammed motor programs from memory and using them without feedback. This means that rapid speech can be produced with little effort, but since there is no error regulation stutterers will continually make the same mistakes in their speech pattern, especially when talking in a pressured situation".

I have first hand experience of closed-loop motor control occurring from trial and error techniques when handling situations. An example, a situation happened that really bothered me a lot and I felt that I must address it with that person. The feeling of being bothered by the situation overrode my anxiety of stuttering while conveying my message. In order to weigh my words carefully (pay close attention to my speech), I made up mock scenarios of how the situation might play out. What I really focused on during the actual addressing of the situation was good eye contact (motor areas), breathing (motor areas), slow enunciation of my words (Broca's area and Wernicke’s area), and posture (motor areas). That is what has made this so interesting to me is that I have been using this technique for 30+ years.

The open-loop motor control is a stutterer's everyday experience. The error control is not obtainable in that loop. As I have gotten older, I have found that I can consciously switch to use the closed-loop motor control but it is difficult to maintain for long periods. Therefore, continual active thinking should control stuttering. I think that the speed of thought patterns contribute to stuttering, but when slowed down, much of the information is lost.

I also agree with the interpretation that the "Valsalva Mechanism, which is a natural bodily function, but it may turn the extra effort put into speech into the block that stutterers fight with everyday...its purpose is to bring more air pressure into the lungs to help a person exert more force on an object,...To create more air pressure in the lungs, the abdomen muscles contract and press against the diaphragm, which in turn presses up on the chest cavity. For this mechanism to increase the air pressure in the lungs, the larynx has to tighten around the airway so that the air cannot escape and this is called the effort closure. All of the muscles involved in the Valsalva mechanism are connected neurologically, so that they can all contract at the same time and with the same force".

I went to a gentleman who taught voice lessons and he instructed me on how to get enough breath in my lungs. When you have enough air to say words, the muscles expand in the abdomen and the larynx relaxes. This lets the words come out. The continual active thinking of taking a huge breath before talking could control stuttering. Any thoughts?

Gemma's picture

Breathing When Stuttering

Hi Lee,

I am 27 years old and I have stuttered ever since i was 4 years old.
I have a few different types of treatment. One was speech therapy when I was in primary school but i didnt really like it that much then, i guess it was because of my age.
When i got to high school and i had to do oral presentation and it because more involved i decided i needed to do something about my speech. I went through a course at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. It was called 'smooth speech'. They though me alot about breathing and sliding into my words. If you always find it hard to say words with ie) P you would take a breath and slide into the word. I believe the rate that you talk at it also very important most us stutter because be talk to fast we need to slow down a little. Another tip they gave me is to link your words together.

The techniques ive learnt have helped me a lot and i can be very fluent if i take my time.
A handy hint for you in your own time is to read a book out load at a slower rate and try with soft onset not forceful (thats why we stutter) and link your words.

I hope this helps!

Lee's picture

Passive Air Flow Technique

Hi Gemma,
I think you are right about breath control too. Been doing research on different techniques and I am really excited about "Passive Air Flow Technique" that was developed by Martin Swartz in the 70s. It goes right along with what you have recommended! I will start using this technique for the next 90 days and will check back to give updates on my progress. :)

King's picture

I read your previous comment,

I read your previous comment, Gemma, and I've just stumbled on this reply advising the same thing. I'm going to try it. My main problem is that I talk extremely fast, too. And when I start talking, I can't control the speed rate, especially when I'm talking freely to friends, or have to approach a stranger. I have a lot of self confidence, contrary to popular belief, but sometimes I just hold myself back from a discussion or a potential conversation because I dread embarrassing myself.

When dictating to an audience or speaking to a large group of people like in a congregation or auditorium, I have better control and fluency over my words because I am consciously involved in the process. I have an interesting orator-like voice, I can add beautiful stresses to my words, and I know just when to add those intriguing pauses between sentences. And I'm a good singer.

But when I come down to the chatty, casual conversation, I'm all over the place. Sometimes, I get so fast that I, myself, know that you didn't grasp a thing of what I just said. Take that last sentence for instance: some of my former friends who make fun of me would laugh and say, "The only thing I heard is 'said'."

Those who are close to me eventually get used to my way of talking and have no problem understanding me. It is a strange phenomenon: two people standing with me; one understanding clearly every word I was saying, while to the other person, I might just as well be another alien from Mars.

I get those blocks, too, and many repetitions especially when I have to start multi-syllable words or arrive at such words in the middle of a sentence. But my rush sentences usually hide them, I think. Most people only notice the bunch of incomprehensible jargon I just spilled out. Sometimes I get so fast that I skip some words altogether, involuntarily, of course!

It's extremely worse when I have to speak on the phone, especially to a girl I like, or when I'm talking to someone of authority or to someone I'm looking to impress. This is my problem; it's driving the people and the situations I desire away from me!

I have to admit that even on my best days, I always have to substitute my words for alternatives and re-arrange my sentences to hide my stutter. If I'm calm enough, I always know ahead that I'm going to stutter on a particular word, and I try, in that pressing moment, to change the sentence up, and end up saying it differently than I initially intended. Because once I start a stutter, I lose my ability to hide it for the rest of the sentences. I'm a writer and novelist, and I always have a huge bank of synonyms that I can use interchangeably. But sadly, sometimes there's no better word to use to try to convey a particular meaning than the one you're meant to use.

It brings me close to tears when I see people refer to stuttering as a "disability". I'm not disabled. I can talk; just not in the same way others do. I know what I want to say; I know how I'd like to say it; but I just end up not saying it as I'd like. Many a time, I've had to say something utterly different, when, deep down, I know what I really want to say, or sometimes I've had to just shut my mouth and watch that moment pass me by forever.

And later that night, I would lie awake in bed and despair of my very life, and then I would look to the Internet for comfort and a new determined resolution to find a solution... just like tonight. I wasn't born a stutterer, and I'm not going to die a stutterer. I'm going to stop it. I'm going to find a way.

Danish 's picture

Me and My Stuttering

I used to believe that stuttering is something I do, not something that happens. I am a severe stutterer who is not capable to say even a word without a stutter. I dont have anything to say because, we all know that stuttering can tear you apart and it has molded our life. I took me a long time to realize that; it doesnt matter how we speak, what matters is what you speak. I hope this idea brings a big evolution in your life.

Serendip Visitor's picture

what stutterers mistake is...

Mouth is like reflex. Just like hand or foot, we dont have anxiety to that things, right? Thats what mouth should do. If you want to speak, just command and let mouth and speaking do their job. Dont let negativity holds you to speak something. Hehe, i stutter lately, but it works for me, i dont stutter anymore when i let mouth and speaking system do their job ^_^

Believe to your body, and have confidence :)

Andrew King's picture

Helpful Experiences

Hello, I'm 25, I'v been stuttering all my life, it's gotten better through age. I have been to HCRI, countless speech therapist, Speech Easy, Hypnotherapy, vocal lessons and medical prescription drugs. I get stuck when I talk on the phone, authority figures, nervous or just because I do. I notice I stutter less, when I'm comfortable and relaxed, or if I talk with someone everyday and every time I talk, I don't stutter, the next time I will be less likely to stutter. So the more I talk with fluent speech the less likely of me stuttering the next time. I make jokes about my stuttering which helps other people become more comfortable, which allows me to make friends. They nicknamed me Stutta, when I was in Basic Combat Training for the Army. I can talk pretty fluently only when I have a casual conversation, because I feel theres no pressure. When I drink and I get tipsee, almost drunk I seem to have fluent speech, I tested this out a lot! When I am playing a sport and I have a lot of adrenalin coursing through my veins, I feel confident, invincible and I don't stutter, it's great! I can say anything to anyone and they don't even to ask me if I can repeat that. I also noticed when I think or feel that I am about to die I seem to get it together and speak fluently, but when you feel like your about to die how fluent can you get? I was going through the gas chamber at my Basic Combat Training, I was in a room with other solders and we had to take our gas mask off for a few minutes, breath in the gas and recite the Army creed to get out the building and pass the course, a high ranking member made us all recite the Army creed, before I spoke I thought I was doomed, but as soon as I started speaking, I never spoke so fast in my life! Another time is when I am in a group and together we speak or say something in unison I wont stutter. I have worn head phones and listened to classical music with no vocals and read a page from a book to a small audience and didn't stutter hardly at all. I try to focus on the things that improve my speech and try to think of ways that I can practice to make my speech better. They say stuttering is genetic and/or a learned behavior, a physical or a mental thing, for me its not genetic, and I'm 99% sure it's a mental thing. Think about what type of stuttering you have, because the way you go about trying to fix it will help depending on how you stutter or where it comes from. Try to educate your self and we might be able to come up with a cure, or at least help prevent the problem from worsening.

matthew bliss's picture

help me cure my stutter

hi there am Matthew from Ghana. Anytime i talk i stutter.i have tried hard to stop but i cant.What should i do.Please help me.

Gemma's picture


I just read your post. It seems you need some help.
I have stuttered all my life. I have treatment and i have a simple way to stop stuttering. It wont stop 100% but you need to take the time to learn this.
1. Slow up your speech rate.
2. Soft on sets - take a breath and be soft on your softs (not hard thats why we stutter)
3. Link your words together. dont stop and start and be choppy with your words.
4. Make sure you breathe.

If you do all these at the same time starting at a very low rate of say 80spm and work your way up to 100- 120 you should be better.
I advise that you read a lot of books out load.
At first you will sound abnormal because no one speaks that slow but as you get the techniques you will because more fluent.

I hope this helps!!

boobalan's picture

please any one help me pls pls..

hello, i'm 20,my problem mainly stutter due to this i cant live happy in every second and cant share anything goodness with ma frds ,family ,others ...if i am try to share some thing which i think ...but i cant , my position from them goes down ...i had gone with lot of treatments n skills ....but nothing improved me...please help me out .... i am in south india no.pls help me .........

James's picture

Hi there I am from India! I'm

Hi there I am from India! I'm 18 And and I have brothers and sisters but I am the only one in the family who stutter. Last year I finished my class x and I decided to continue my study in science as I have wanted to be a doctor or a physicist. My parents sent me to one good college for my further study but after a few months When I can't take the pain of embarrassment, fear, etc anymore I quit. Now I don' know what to do, should I just give up those dreams of becoming great. God knows I'm sick and tired. So guys I know that many of you are older than me and you do have more experience. PLEASE say something, I need your advice.

samkelo shongwe's picture

i my be young but i am strongest

I am 16 years old boy from south africa i have many friend at school i have same problem as you but in my life no one ever face me and make a joke about my stuttering i respect people I love people as I was growing I had a voice say if you stuttering you have power you are strong than anyone that voice really helped me because at school I am tough brave I talk at school I don't care anymore if i am going to stutter I am not afraid of anyone at school because of this voice
if we doing speech I find it difficult to to present it by my language isizulu but in english it is easy because I thing before talking. never let people judge you be strong never give up because of other people saying about you I may be young than you but I like to say believe in your self peace.

ashwani's picture

stutter problum

dear sir
iam stutter last 30 year old pls help me i want improvment my wrods when i go other place meet stanger that time iam wrods mising

someone's picture


i have been stuttring since as long i can remember i am 15 now. i never stutter when i read a book and when i say some thing without thinking but whenever i think i before i speek i stutter.

Tunde's picture

Unconscious stuttering

I have never stuttered. I am 42 years old, male, live inn Nigeria, a pastor. Sometimes in 2010, I was preaching and all of a sudden, I saw people standing beside me. They said, I had continued to repeat the same word 7-8 times. This happened again in March 2011. Then, it happened again on 14 March, 2012. What could be the cause of this type of sudden, unconscious repetitions? What medical help can you offer to me?

Serendip Visitor's picture

i hate studdering i get so

i hate studdering i get so embarrased when i'm trying to say something espically on presentations it's very hard sometimes i try to calm down and take deep breaths so i can say it right but sometimes when i say my something well ppl want me to repeat it cause they didn't hear i hate that and also alot of ppl talk over me that's wat i also hate

Serendip Visitor's picture

I stutter TOO!

I also stutter it happens more lately the older I get, I do talk fast though sometimes to fast, especially if I'm speaking professionally about something that's important, I get told to slow down my speech all the time. I remember when I was in school I had to go to a speech impediment class which it did help I think, anyways I also mix up my words a lot and sometime I will try to say a word but slurred it, not to bad but bad enough to notice like (publicity) that word I stutter today!!

rose's picture


My son born on 10th october 2006 and now studying in KG 2 in Kindergarten school started stammering from last May 2011 when he started kg2. He is a intelligent child. While reading/singing he is clear. While talking he st ammers and speaks very fast, at times he is very clear. Heath history: He is the only child & was born under C-section. In June 2011, he had undergone surgury for adenoid & tonsils as he used to often have cold & ear infection. In sept 2010, he had urine infection & was circumcised.

he is still not aware that it is called stammering. I can make out that he fears to speak out & speaks in shortcut and not sentences.
pls advise how to overcome the stammering.

divya's picture


i am divya 18 years i am stammering from past 10 years is it is curable

Serendip Visitor's picture


I stutter, I used to stutter more but for me there is a physiological reason (I know it - I can feel it - there is new research saying its true) and it started after a severe fever and illness as a child (I also lost the ability to walk for awhile - my nervous system was trashed by the illness.) Anyway, partial help came from a change in my attitude. Its like there is primary stuttering and secondary stuttering. Secondary is the emotional part and when I decided I had something worth listening to, and the message was important not how it was delivered my life got easier and only the 'primary' stuttering was left. If someone wants to put me down, **** them. If they want to finish my sentences I learn how much they have really listened! If they get it wrong I imitate a game show buzzer and say "WRONG! THANKS FOR PLAYING!" and continue with the conversation. I worked for awhile as a teacher and the kids were fine with it.... somedays they had to finish most of my sentences for me! I always knew who studied!

I do know that I will never be a police dispatcher or similar but that's ok, not sure I want to do that work anyway.