Did you know that over 70 million people worldwide are stutterers? That amounts up to one in 100. And in the US alone, there are over 3 million people who stutter. Stuttering will not fit into any one particular age group or time frame. Some people stutter a little while some have more, some people have stuttering over a longer time, while some stutter for a shorter duration. It can gradually develop over the years and can appear out of the blue. There are many misconceptions and poor reputation about stuttering. But people who have stuttering can live a very healthy and wholesome life. Read on more as we breakdown some popular myths.
- Anxiety and Nervousness Cause Stuttering: Absolutely not! While stressing about situations can worsen stuttering, it is not the root cause of it. Researchers cannot find the exact reason for stuttering but have linked it to be a more neurological issue. Telling a person to relax or calm down, may affect them negatively, and puts an increased pressure to speak normally. And children who have negative experiences with peers, grow up to have a lot of insecurities. A little bit of encouragement and patience can go a long way in easing them into holding a good conversation.
- People who Stutter Have Low IQ: This is one of the most blatant and common misconceptions about stuttering. There is no correlation between condition and intelligence. Research conducted by the British Stammering Association reveals that people have the ‘same range of intelligence’ irrespective of whether they stutter or not. They might be a little bit slow in conveying the message, but they are clear on their thoughts. People who stutter have gone to become writers, actors, scientists, and even politicians. Some of them are Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Bob Love, and ex V.P. Joseph Biden.
- People will Outgrow Stuttering: Many adults and teenagers keep believing or hoping that one day they might overcome this issue. That’s not possible and gives false hope. Usually, children between 18 months and 5 years start showing symptoms of stuttering. And if there is an early intervention, it can help them solve this issue completely. Sometimes, it can even go away on their own. But, for many, the symptoms do not start until they are older (between 7 to 12), and it becomes difficult to reverse them.
- You Can ‘Catch’ Stuttering from Hearing Other People: Again, definitely not. You cannot get stuttering by imitating or spending time with a person who does. It is not the flu or fever. This condition can be because of family dynamics, neuromuscular development, genetics, and even their environment. If your child is imitating the stuttering by talking to a family member/friend, they will eventually be bored with it. But, if they do continue to stutter, it might be because of their DNA.
- It’s Okay to Complete Other Person’s Sentence: This is even more hurtful than asking them to take a deep breath before talking. Dr. Drayna quoted, “Would you tell someone walking with a brace on their leg to just walk better?”. Similarly, you cannot complete the sentence on their behalf. This will affect them by making them shy, hide their condition, and eventually become introverts. Rather, understanding their condition can help them be open and assertive.
Stuttering is far more common and complex than you can imagine. But, when handled properly, given proper speech therapy, practice sessions, it is easily manageable and increases fluency. Checkout our Stamurai app, which is a convenient way to practice speech therapy whenever you want.