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NIDCD observes International Stuttering Awareness Day
October 22, 2016, is International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD). The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) joins the Stuttering Foundation, International Stuttering Association, and the National Stuttering Association in observance of ISAD. This year’s theme is Stuttering Pride — Respect, Dignity, Recognition.
Stuttering is a common speech disorder in which sounds, syllables, or words are repeated or prolonged, disrupting the normal flow of speech. The disorder can affect people of all ages but begins most frequently in young children between the ages of 2 and 6, as they are developing their language skills.
Approximately 5 to 10 percent of all children stutter for some period, lasting from a few weeks to several years. Boys are two to three times more likely than girls to stutter, and this difference becomes more pronounced for older children; older boys are three to four times more likely than older girls to stutter. Most children, however, outgrow stuttering.
ISAD was developed by the International Stuttering Association to recognize the growing alliance between speech-language professionals and patients. Providers and patients work together to share, support, and educate one another and the general public on the impact of stuttering on a person’s life.
The NIDCD supports a research portfolio on stuttering that aims to understand the underlying genetic, neurologic, and physiologic causes of stuttering; to predict which children may continue to stutter; and to develop new and effective therapies.
NIDCD scientist Dennis Drayna, Ph.D., chief, NIDCD Section on Systems Biology of Communication Disorders, has worked with a team of researchers in his lab and with international scientists to identify a number of genes associated with stuttering. These genetic discoveries are leading to an improved understanding of stuttering.
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, see our recently updated stuttering fact sheet in English and Spanish. You can learn about and find clinical trials currently recruiting volunteers nationwide at NIH Clinical Research Trials and You.
For more information on ISAD, please visit the ISAD website.
Share our information and join us in recognizing International Stuttering Awareness Day!