It is embarrassing for the speaker and the listener. Talking with stuck syllables or with many repetitions can be trauma or a laughing matter. Stuttering is a change in verbal fluency that affects 100,000 people in Portugal.
“The defect in the rhythm of speech has an impact on the quality of life of the person with stuttering, through the repetition of words, syllables or sounds, as well as facial blocks or tics”, explains Tiago Grave. The speech therapist adds that, although stuttering is irreversible, verbal fluency can be improved with treatments.
Stutterers rarely say that they stutter and prefer to report that they have a speech problem. They usually run away from words and letters that stutter more. “Stuttering is still an invisible problem and little acknowledged by the State. There is not enough support for people with stuttering, particularly at school age. Society is marginalizing these people in access to employment and speech therapy. Lack of equal opportunities and more tolerance “, recognizes Luís Rocha, vice president of Associação Portuguesa de Gagos (APG).
Being an involuntary behavior, asking for water when you want a coffee or buying a train ticket to a station other than the one you want to arrive to can be common situations in the daily life of a stutterer, according to APG.
Speech therapy is one of the areas indicated for the diagnosis and treatment of stuttering. Experts defend genetics as the source of the problem, as most children who stutter have a direct family member who also stutters.