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Learn about stuttering on International Stuttering Awareness Day
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) joins the Stuttering Foundation, International Stuttering Association, and the National Stuttering Association in observing International Stuttering Awareness Day (ISAD) on October 22. This year’s theme is A World That Understands Stuttering.
Stuttering is a speech fluency disorder. People who stutter repeat sounds, syllables, or words; prolong sounds; and/or experience unwanted interruptions—known as blocks—in their speech. A person who stutters knows exactly what he or she would like to say but has trouble producing a 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 increases for older children; older boys are three to four times more likely than older girls to stutter. Most children, however, outgrow stuttering. 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 genes associated with stuttering. These genetic discoveries are leading to an improved understanding of stuttering. Read and watch videos about Dr. Drayna’s research.
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 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!