If You Stutter, You’re Not Alone.Posted by Medicare Made Clear
What do Mel Tillis, Marilyn Monroe, Tiger Woods and Winston Churchill have in common? They all stutter(ed). If you stutter, you’re not alone. According to the Stuttering Foundation of America, more than 68 million people worldwide stutter.1 Over three million of those who stutter are Americans living in the United States.2 Males are four times more likely to stutter than females, and approximately five percent of all children go through a period of stuttering that lasts six months or more.3 Three-quarters of those will recover by late childhood, leaving about one percent with a long-term problem.4
Stuttering is a communication disorder involving disruptions in the flow of speech. Repetitions (li-li-like this), prolongations (lllllike this), or abnormal stoppages (no sound) of sounds and syllables make it difficult to speak and communicate with others. Some people struggle with every word while others stutter only on occasion.
Stuttering isn’t caused by emotional problems or linked to a person’s intelligence. It’s also not a “nervous” disorder or caused by stress, although stress may aggravate a person’s stuttering.
The exact cause of stuttering is still unknown. However, according to the Stuttering Foundation of America, these four factors most likely contribute to the development of stuttering:
Genetics: Approximately 60 percent of those who stutter have a family member who does also.5
Child development: Children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter.
Neurophysiology: Recent neurological research has shown that people who stutter process speech and language slightly differently than those who do not stutter.
Family dynamics: High expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can contribute to stuttering.
There are a number of successful methods to treat stuttering. Speech therapy, electronic devices and medication may all play a role. If you’ve had treatment for your stuttering in the past and you didn’t get the results you had hoped for doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it again. It is common for stuttering to change over time or for emotions and attitudes about your speech to change as you have new experiences. If you stutter and want to see a doctor, Medicare Part B may help cover some therapy expenses.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
The Stuttering Foundation of America: A nonprofit organization—StutteringHelp.org
National Stuttering Association: Resources and moral support for people who stutter
Why Go To Speech Therapy?: The Stuttering Foundation of American
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 F.A.Q. Stuttering Facts and Information, The Stuttering Foundation of America, October 21, 2014