Stuttering

What is stuttering? 

Stuttering is non-fluent speaking. It is a collection of audible, sometimes visual and often hidden characteristics which can differ per situation. There is no specific cause for a stutter. Speaking is a complex process of timing, coordination of breathing and muscles by messages sent from the brain.

Everybody occasionally experiences something going wrong during this process. For a person with a stutter there is an impairment in the timing and coordination of this process.

Characteristics

  • Audible characteristics; repeating, extending and blockage of words
  • Visual characteristics; speech accompanied by facial expressions or body movements, speech accompanied by tics
  • Hidden characteristics; fear of speaking, fear of stuttering, avoiding situations where speech is required (social fear), feeling inferior, shame, depression. Hidden characteristics in particular can lead to learning difficulties, loss of achievement and psychosocial problems.

There are individual differences for people with a stutter. For some is a stutter strongly connected to certain situations/persons, and for others it is indifferent to situations or people.

Possible obstacles 

  • Participating in work groups and practical trainings
  • Holding of presentations and in oral examinations/assessments
  • Internship
  • Loss of energy as communication requires a lot of effort

 

picture of a student's mouth