Everyone experiences periods in which speech is not fluent. For some, a stutter can get in the way of everyday life.
A person who stutters may only struggle with certain words or sounds. They may experience:
- blocks, in which there is a long pause before being able to say a word
- prolongations, in which certain sounds in a word are extended
- repetition of a word or part of a word
Stuttering can also have physical signs, such as movements in the face and body as a person attempts to pronounce a word.
According to the Stuttering Foundation, over 70 million people worldwide are affected. Of these, 3 million live in the United States. Males are four times more likely to stutter than females, and about 5 percent of children will go through a period of stuttering.
For people who regularly experience stuttering, and for those who experience it due to stress, several methods can help to reduce the frequency or eliminate it altogether.