The following information is from The Stuttering Foundation:
What causes stuttering? There are four factors most likely to contribute to the development of stuttering: genetics ( approximately 60% of those who stutter have a family member who does also); child development (children with other speech and language problems or developmental delays are more likely to stutter); neurophysiology ( recent research has shown that people who stutter process speech and language in different areas of the brain than those who do not stutter); and family dynamics ( high expectations and fast-paced lifestyles can contribute to stuttering).
Stuttering may occur when a combination of factors comes together and may have different causes in different people. It is probable that what causes stuttering differs from what makes it continue or get worse.
6 Tips For Speaking With Someone Who Stutters
Stuttering may look like an easy problem that can be solved with some simple advice, but for many adults, it can be a chronic life-long disorder. Here are some ways that you, the listener, can help.
1. Don’t make remarks like: “Slow down,” “Take a breath,” or “Relax.” Such simplistic advice can be felt as demeaning and is not helpful.
2. Let the person know by your manner that you are listening to what he or she says — not how they say it.
3. Maintain natural eye contact and wait patiently and naturally until the person is finished.
4. You may be tempted to finish sentences or fill in words. Try not to. Use a relatively relaxed rate in your own speech — but not so slow as to sound unnatural. This promotes good communication.
5. Be aware that those who stutter usually have more trouble controlling their speech on the telephone. Please be patient in this situation. If you pick up the phone and hear nothing, be sure it is not a person who stutters trying to start the conversation before you hang up.
6. Speak in an unhurried way — but not so slowly as to sound unnatural. This promotes good communication with everyone.
There are no instant miracle cures for stuttering. Therapy, electronic devices, and even drugs are not an overnight process. However, a specialist in stuttering can help not only children but also teenagers, young adults and even older adults make significant progress toward fluency.
The Foundation lists specialists on their web site for speech therapy for stuttering. Click on "referrals" and find the country and state you need. If going to a specialist is not possible, get the Foundation's book "Self Therapy for the Stutterer."
come from a family of stutterers who got help through The Stuttering Foundation www.stutteringhelp.org