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What is stuttering? What is covert stuttering? What causes stuttering? Why does stuttering therapy work for some people and not for others? And where it does work why is it often only for a short time? As a parent, friend, spouse, or relative of a person who stutters (PWS), what can I do/ what should I do to help? As a person who stutters what can I do to help myself? As a therapist how can I better serve my clients?

Until now we have lacked the vocabulary to reach shared understanding of these questions. This website seeks to change this.

Stuttering is often associated with the mental disability of Social Anxiety Disorder, which not only results in significant compromise to quality of life but also maintains the stuttering and confounds therapy. Whether or not stuttering is habitual or associated with Social Anxiety Disorder should be the subject of therapeutic diagnosis (aka differential diagnosis) if therapy outcomes are to be improved. The additional label Stuttered Speech Syndrome is required so that a distinction can be drawn from habitual stuttering (stuttering not associated with Social Anxiety Disorder).  The word syndrome is both a useful and appropriate adjunct to “stuttering” terminology. In medicine and psychology, a syndrome is the association of several clinically recognizable features, signs (observed by a physician), symptoms (reported by the patient), phenomena or characteristics that often occur together, so that the presence of one or more features alerts the physician to the possible presence of the others. Stuttered Speech Syndrome is the appropriate diagnosis for someone who suffers from stuttering while also suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder.

This site seeks to assist both people who stutter and speech therapists by providing…..

  1. strategies for improved stuttering public awareness, stuttering therapy and stuttering research. More detail…
  2. strategies for overcoming stuttering (overt and covert). More detail…
  3. strategies for diagnosing and overcoming Stuttered Speech Syndrome. More detail…

KEY POINTS:

  1. The speech disruption of Stuttering (also known as Stammering) is restrictive, but any associated Social Anxiety Disorder is much more restrictive. That is, in addition to stuttering, to also suffer the shame, embarrassment, frustration and fear of stuttering to such an extent it causes a cycle of more stuttering, avoidance of  social interaction, psychiatric ill health, and significant impairment of academic and career achievement, is more than just a speech problem. A separate term : Stuttered Speech Syndrome (SSS) is needed to bring awareness to the fact that people who stutter may suffer not only a speech dysfluency but also clinically significant emotional and social ill-health.
  2. The distinction between stuttering and Stuttered Speech Syndrome (SSS) is also needed because people with SSS are in primary need of therapy that first targets their Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) so that they may then be able to follow rational advice relating to fluent speech production. Someone suffering SAD and associated panic is functioning with emotionally automated responses and is severely restricted in ability to function logically no matter how appropriate the speech production advice. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy is a helpful method of dealing with SAD (also known as Social Phobia).