Welcome To My Website!!

Imagine me having a website! I’ve been a speech therapist for 40 years and I stutter. I never grew out of it so I became a professional!

That idea of ‘growing out of stuttering’ is an often- heard sentiment. Young kids do grow out of stuttering in the sense that the brain of the very young child who is displaying speech disfluencies is characterized by its plasticity, that is changeability, or its ability to ‘change for the better’. Neuronal pathways are not ‘set’ yet and therefore can change anatomically and physiologically in time with further development so that the production of normal speech fluency can be established. What does this mean?

It means that the three components of speech, respiration, articulation and phonation are synchronized. The brain is successfully guiding motor movements, the speech musculature, so that specific speech muscle patterns are coordinated. This is an unconscious phenomenon. Kids don’t consciously learn to speak, but are able to do so when maturation occurs as the speech apparatus operates to express the thoughts that the language represents. We now know that the etiology or cause of stuttering is physiologically based. When the central neurophysiological anomaly in the brain is active it interferes with the synchronization of respiration, phonation and articulation. Attempts to speak ‘anyway’ are compromised or blocked. The then produces what it recognized as stuttering: repetitions, prolongations or blocks. Eventually the word is released, maybe because of the effort to speak, or the stuttering. The stuttering, or what the individual does to ‘break through’ the asynchrony of speech muscle movements actually serves as a way to inhibit the physiologically based anomaly. The brain ‘hears’ the stuttering which serves as altered auditory feedback and the fluency or coordination of speech muscle movements is resumed, until the next disruption of the speech flow from the central anomaly.

Most kids exhibit normal disfluencies, a byproduct of acquiring speech and language. This is transitory. Others persist in disruptions of speech flow into school age. Most do indeed stop stuttering by age twelve, accomplished by maturation and perhaps for a few, with an assist from speech therapy.

What about those who persist, continue to stutter into adolescence, adulthood? Stay tuned.

Has one comment to “Welcome To My Website!!”

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  1. Hey Cliff!

    I’m so excited for your new website! Well done, and best of luck to you!!


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