Stuttering: Let their voices be heard

May 09, 2016

Stuttering affects 1% of our population 

Given the importance of verbal communication in occupational, social and academic settings, stuttering can lead to significant disability. UCR Health is taking a central role in the treatment of stuttering.

Stuttering, also known as Childhood Onset Fluency Disorder, is not a newly discovered condition as it was described by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks. Until recent years, however, stuttering was thought to be mostly a problem of the mouth or throat. It has also mistakenly been viewed as primarily an anxiety disorder and people who stutter have often been given the inappropriate advice to just "relax" or "slow down."  
stutteringOwing much to the research performed by our faculty at UCR School of Medicine, we now know that stuttering is a disorder related to an abnormal brain activity. Stuttering is often genetic, but other causes may likely play a role in its etiology. Stuttering often begins in childhood and it is true that some children will "outgrow" the condition. However, it is in the best interest for the child to be evaluated by a health care professional specializing in stuttering treatment at the beginning of the symptoms since some forms of speech therapy may be effective, especially when caught early.

Growing evidence suggests that stuttering can be treated by certain forms of medications. More research is needed in this area, and the UC Riverside School of Medicine – through our Kirkup Center for the Medical Treatment of Stuttering – is leading the way and investing in these new therapies.  
Help is here now and individuals who stutter need their voices to be heard. They no longer need to suffer in silence.

Gerald Maguire, MD is a psychiatrist with UCR Health. View Dr. Gerald Maguire's profile to learn more.