The Stuttering Foundation in the United States of America has revealed that nearly three million people are suffering from this speech disorder and the numbers are constantly rising on a yearly basis.
Initially, this speech disorder was considered to be untreatable but over the years some therapies and remedies have been introduced which have proven to be effective in countering it. Some of the popular alternatives that are implemented worldwide are:
This therapy is conducted by professional speech therapists who first evaluate the individual for identifying the number of sessions and the time span needed to deal with stuttering. The result varies as per every individual but these therapists use those techniques which can aid the patients in establishing effective communication skills, bring a reduction in stuttering frequency and decrease the constant struggle with words.
Although the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has not approved any drugs which are especially designed to eliminate stuttering, there are some which can bring an improvement in relieving the condition. Medications which are used for countering epilepsy, depression and anxiety have been tested and have turned out to be helpful in dealing with this irritating speech disorder. However, it is advised not to use the medications for long periods of time because they can have a myriad of side effects such as weight fluctuations, nausea and insomnia.
Electronic Fluency Devices:
Electronic devices are now being used to bring fluent speech for those individuals who tend to stutter. These devices have a small device which is placed in the ear canal and acts much like a hearing aid. The speaker can hear his own voice which is digitally relayed by the device with a change in pitch or after a slight delay so as to create the illusion that the speaker is conversing with another person in unison.
Through research, it has been confirmed that anxiety plays a major role in stuttering caused by emotions and therefore intervention therapy for stuttering recommend relaxing the individuals. Stuttering often becomes severe when the speakers become tensed and that’s what usually happens when stutters are talking and become uncomfortable and embarrassed. They put too much pressure on their muscles which has a negative impact.
In order to minimize the impact of this speech disorder, there are programs which are designed to teach stutterers coping mechanisms that can be of immense help. Some of the mechanisms which are commonly taught are to use shorter words and phrases instead of long, answering questions in a simple manner and favoring short sentences in speech with simple words rather than complex ones.