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International Stuttering Awareness Day - “A World That Understands Stuttering”

International Stuttering Awareness Day - “A World That Understands Stuttering”

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  • International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) is celebrated on 22nd October every year to raise public awareness about stuttering
  • The day also aims to educate the public and to bring hope and empowerment to children and adults who stutter
  • Stuttering is a fluency speech disorder that can hamper communication and affect a person's quality of life

International Stuttering Awareness Day, also known as International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD) is an annual event celebrated on 22nd October every year to raise awareness about stuttering. The theme for this year is " A World That Understands Stuttering," which highlights the importance of educating the public and bringing hope to people who stutter. The National Stuttering Association started in 1977, dedicated to bring hope and empowerment to children and adults who stutter. Nearly 5% of children between the ages of 2 and 5 will develop some stuttering during their childhood.

Why it is Important to Educate People on Stuttering?

Stuttering or stammering is a communication disorder. The exact cause of stuttering is unknown although it may appear to have a multifactorial origin with current research suggesting 70% environmental and 30% genetic. The public can support people who stutter by being a partner in the communication process rather than a judge.


International Stuttering Awareness Day - “A World That Understands Stuttering”

On this day, organizations and institutions conduct events on stuttering to raise awareness. Sea green is used to mark International Stuttering Awareness Day. The color blue has been associated with calmness and the color green represents liberty, freedom and justice. The British Stammering Association has encouraged people to change their Facebook or Twitter profile to sea green twibbon on 22nd October to show their support for those who stutter.

Facts and Statistics on Stuttering

  • More than 70 million people worldwide are stutterers
  • Globally, 66 million people suffer from the effects of stuttering
  • Stuttering is more common in boys than girls
  • Nearly, 1 out of every 100 children will be left with long-term stuttering
  • It affects about 5 % of the children
  • About 10 million people stutter in the US
  • Nearly, 1 % or fewer adults stutter in America
  • It most commonly occurs in children between 2 and 5 years of age while they are developing language skills
  • Children who stutter are more likely to have psychological problems than those who do not

Myths and Facts About Stuttering

Myth 1: People stutter because they are nervous.

Fact: People who stutter may be nervous, but nervousness is not the cause

Myth 2: Stuttering is a psychological disorder.

Fact: Emotional factors often lead to stuttering, but stuttering is not a psychological condition

Myth 3: Stuttering is caused by bad parenting

Fact: Stuttering is not the result of bad parenting. A child can exacerbate stuttering, but is not the cause.

Myth 4: Labeling a child as a stutterer results in chronic stuttering

Fact :Talking about stuttering does not cause a child to stutter

Myth 5: People who stutter are less intelligent

Fact: People who stutter are usually smarter and capable of doing things than anyone else

Do's and Don'ts of Stuttering for a Person who Stutters

  • Consult with your family physician who can help you overcome stuttering
  • Take a deep breath before starting a sentence
  • Speak slowly. Let the words flow one after the other in a rhythmic pattern
  • Discuss with your speech therapist on techniques of overcoming them and also identify the way you react to your disfluencies in speech
  • Initially, practice speaking with your close friends and relatives who understand and love you
  • When getting introduced to new friends, relax and speak
  • Practice speaking in front of the mirror; this technique can help in overcoming the fear while giving a speech on stage
  • Join a support group for better results and improve your level of confidence
  • Do not be afraid of breaking sentences while talking to someone
  • Do not force your words that you find difficult to say
  • Do not keep thinking of changing words
  • Practice intermittent eye contacts and body language to keep the conversation interactive
  • Do not worry, if others find out that you stutter or make mistakes while talking.
  • Do not bother when a person criticizes you in front of others

Tips to Help People Overcome Stuttering

  • Maintain eye contact with the speaker wait patiently till he/she speaks
  • Praise their talents and encourage them
  • Speak slowly and wait until they feel comfortable
  • Be patient and allow them to finish on their own
  • Use facial expressions and body language to understand the speaker that you are comfortable talking to her/him
  • Follow a simple to do list to interact with people who stutter

What is Stuttering?

Stuttering is a common fluency speech disorder that starts from childhood. A person struggles to communicate with others due to prolonged or repeated speech, sounds, syllables or words. It happens due to anxiety on the part of the speaker about the way he/she speaks. Stuttering can be hampering and affects a person's quality of life.

Stuttering may differ according to persons and situations. The exact cause of stuttering is unknown. There are three common types of stuttering - developmental stuttering, neurogenic stuttering, and psychogenic stuttering.
  • Developmental stuttering may be hereditary and it most commonly observed in young children while they are developing their language and verbal skills.
  • Neurogenic stuttering occurs after a stroke or any brain injuries such as head trauma.
  • Psychogenic stuttering may result from a traumatic emotional experience or some psychological problems. Many people who stutter carry a burden of personal feelings of frustration and anxiety.
Stuttering diagnosis is usually performed by a speech-language pathologist (SLA) who is trained to evaluate and treat children and adults with speech and language disorder. Child's stuttering behaviors will be examined by SLP which help him to assess the impact of stuttering on the child's life.

Speech therapy can treat stuttering in very young children. There are some relaxation techniques which may help the people to overcome a stutter. General relaxation can help keep the mind calm and relax. Exercise is also recommended for people who stutter as it helps the body produce "feel good" hormones that can help them improve self-confidence and maintain good posture. Progressive relaxation is a simple and effective technique that gives a better relief for people with anxiety, high blood pressure and anxiety.

References :
  1. International Stuttering October 22 - (http://www.isastutter.org/what-we-do/isad)
  2. International Stuttering Awareness Day - (http://www.stutteringhelp.org/content/international-stuttering-awareness-day)
  3. Common Myths about Stuttering - (http://www.westutter.org/who-we-help/myths-about-stuttering/)
  4. International Stammering Awareness Day: 22nd October - (https://www.stammering.org/get-involved/help-us-raise-awareness/international-stammering-awareness-day-22nd-october)
Source: Medindia

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