Stuttering may be history’s most misunderstood disorder. Myths and inaccuracies abound. “Experts” and stutterers alike have been fooled, especially by the Primary Paradox.
What stuttering is not
Stuttering very likely is not:
- The result of pyschologic or emotional problems. Stuttering is not caused by unresolved emotional problems, anticipatory/avoidance reactions, conflict/assertiveness issues, low self-confidence, or nervousness.
- The result of learned behavior. Kids don’t “learn” stuttering any more than they “learn” dyslexia, Tourette’s disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- The result of tension in the larynx or other external speech articulators. The observable struggles are an effort to get past the neurologic speech block–they are the result of the block, not its cause. If the root cause of stuttering were instantly corrected, these struggles would disappear instantly.
What stuttering is
Stuttering very likely is:
- a neurologic disorder. Clinical studies strongly suggest that stuttering results from an inborn developmental flaw or dysfunction in the brain areas that process and output speech. That’s what causes the speech block. Words must get out of the brain before they can get out of the mouth. It’s that simple (and complex).
- Common sense helps to confirm this idea: Stuttered speech is a disorder of speech function. Speech function is controlled by certain areas in the brain. Don’t leapfrog your reasoning ability and be misled by what stuttering very likely is not.