What causes stammering?
Experts are still debating this. Most say it’s largely psychological. Latest brain-mapping research, however, points to a partly neurological basis, programmed by genes. In 50 per cent of cases, it runs in the family; it afflicts three times more men than women.
Who to contact for treatment/advice?
An audiology and speech therapist. Also, TISA runs self-help groups in many cities (www.indiastammering.com). The All-India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysore, is the premier research centre for communication disorders.
How to behave with stammerers:
- Maintain eye contact. Looking away makes the stammerer feel you find his speech unpleasant.
- Wait for the stutterer to finish sentences. Don’t do it for him.
- Slow down your speech. Talking fast puts pressure on stammerers.
- Avoid giving simplistic advice like “Don’t be nervous” or “Just...