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NIDCD observes International Stuttering Awareness Day
October 22, 2014, is International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD). The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) joins the International Stuttering Association and the National Stuttering Association in observance of ISAD. This year’s theme is We Speak with One Voice!
Stuttering is a common speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech. The disorder affects people of all ages and occurs in all languages. Stuttering typically arises in children between the ages of 2 and 5 as they are developing their language skills. Boys are twice as likely to stutter as girls; as they get older, however, the number of boys who continue to stutter is three to four times larger than the number of girls. Most children outgrow stuttering but some do not, and it’s been estimated that about 1 percent of Americans, roughly three million people, live with this disorder.
ISAD was developed by the International Stuttering Association to recognize the growing alliance between speech-language professionals and patients. Both groups are learning from each other and working together to share, give support, and educate one another and the general public on the impact of stuttering on a person’s life.
The NIDCD supports research exploring ways to improve the early identification and treatment of stuttering and to identify its causes. NIDCD scientist Dennis Drayna, Ph.D., chief, NIDCD Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders, recently gave a talk on the genetics of stuttering as part of NIDCD’s new Beyond the Lab, Understanding Communication Disorders speaker series. Dr. Drayna and researchers in his lab, in collaboration with a group of international scientists, have found a number of genes associated with stuttering that are leading to an improved understanding of this disorder. Dr. Drayna’s talk on stuttering is available through an archived videocast.
The NIDCD also provides science-based health education materials for people who stutter, their families and advocates, and health professionals working in the field. For more information, including a fact sheet on stuttering, visit the health information section of the NIDCD website. You can learn about and find clinical trials currently recruiting volunteers nationwide at the NIH Clinical Research Trials and You website.
For more information on ISAD, please visit the ISAD website.
Share our information and join us in recognizing International Stuttering Awareness Day!