By | June 10, 2022

Stuttering or balbuties is a very complex event, so that the treatment must be multi-pronged due to the variety of causes. The term treatment is used here in the broadest sense of the word and not only understood in a purely medical or language-pedagogical sense. Therefore, one can only answer the question asked at the beginning with a yes, but also with a conditional no, taking into account all the accompanying circumstances that led to the stuttering. What is the cause of stuttering?


Is it a defect in the so-called language center of the brain, a congenital, even hereditary ailment, is it perhaps an expression of nervousness or a sign of unwillingness, naughtiness or defiance that leads to stuttering ? These questions are often asked of the doctor or language teacher. For everything about chime syndrome, please visit

We will try to answer these questions briefly. A brain defect can only be assumed if there are detectable pathological changes in certain brain regions. This type of stuttering is associated with other language disorders. However, these rarer cases of illness will not be discussed here, nor will stutterers with significant intellectual deficits.

The stutterer is not a congenital disease, and scientific research cannot prove that it is hereditary. Some people think that stuttering is one of the so-called nervous speech disorders. From the medical point of view, one can say that the signs of general nervous hyperexcitability can often be observed in children and adolescents who stutter. They represent side effects. The general nervousness is not the cause, but rather a side effect or a consequence, originating from the overall picture to be described below.

From a psychotherapeutic or neurological point of view, defiant attitudes, naughtiness, or rebelliousness as reasons that lead to stuttering must be rejected. However, we observe that the vast majority of children and adolescents who stutter are those who have to be described as neurotic. It is with these that we shall primarily deal here.

Neuroses are malfunctions of organs or entire organ systems by the control and regulator organ, the brain. They almost always stem from disturbed relationships between the whole organism and its environment.

As is the case with every neurosis, neurotic stuttering also conceals a highly complex physical process that is difficult to uncover and not entirely possible in all cases, since we are not always able to tell with certainty from the child’s forms of expression uncover all objective bases for the emergence and elimination of malfunctions in the functional process.

The main causes for the development of the child’s neuroses and consequently also of the stuttering lie in disturbances in the interpersonal relationships of the child and its fellow and environment. In stuttering children, in whom no adequate environmental disturbances are found, the stuttering is sometimes based on character traits in which there are almost always severe disturbances in the areas of emotional, will and instinctual life.

There are no intellectual backwardnesses in the children, who are both peculiar in character and neurotic, and sometimes these children even have quite good intelligence. Stuttering shows up as a malfunction in pronunciation technique. As side effects, one often sees rich, often grimacing movements of the entire facial muscles, arms, legs and faulty breathing technique.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

A typical symptom of stuttering is choppy, unintentionally interrupted speech and the unintentional repetition of individual syllables. While some stutterers cannot speak the first syllable fluently, other sufferers have problems with every word. You are unable to pronounce a sentence clearly.

In addition to the possibly compulsive repetition of individual syllables and words as a typical sign of stuttering, the symptoms of many sufferers are primarily of a psychological nature. Language as a means of communication is necessary in many situations so that social relationships can develop and be maintained. Complaints in this area often lead to those affected withdrawing if they are not treated.

They avoid situations in which stuttering particularly occurs and, in extreme cases, avoid any conversation. There is a risk of unwanted social isolation with possible consequences such as depression and even suicidal tendencies. Children and young people in particular suffer greatly from stuttering, since their peers often have little understanding and ridicule the language defect.

It is advisable to consult a specialist as soon as you experience symptoms that indicate stuttering. The faster the signs of a speech defect can be treated, the faster those affected find their way back to a normal way of speaking.


Psychologically, stuttering children seem inhibited, but at the same time restless, shy, but occasionally challenging. Most stutterers suffer from their language disorder, which is why these children withdraw from others, also because they are often teased, teased and mocked, thereby losing the child’s natural need for contact and the child’s inherent zest for life.

From a neurosurgical and psychotherapeutic point of view, one is quite justified in saying that by far the largest proportion of all stuttering children are those in whom environmental disturbances can be identified. As a result, these children also appear restless in their motor skills (body movements), their behavior is unsteady and they are also seen as nervous because of the psychological difference already described.

It can be seen that the environmental disturbances cause the stuttering and this in turn affects the child’s personality in such a way that nervous side effects and consequences occur.


Complications related to stuttering usually arise in the social sphere of the person affected. In many cases, untreated stuttering in particular causes the stuttering person to gradually avoid social situations. One fears looks and ridicule from third parties and prefers to withdraw. This can lead to the collapse of everyday life, both in the private and in the professional sphere.

Especially children who neither understand the health background of stuttering nor can verbalize their emotions in this regard suffer from the situation. You are at risk of social isolation. If speaking is generally avoided due to stuttering, there is also a risk of language development delays, which later require intensive logopedic therapy. Without such treatment, success at school is also at risk.

The best way to avoid complications related to stuttering is to start therapy as soon as possible. Depending on the individual cause of the stuttering, however, therapy does not immediately bring the desired results. It takes time to learn how to speak normally again. In order to avoid psychosocial complications, psychotherapy can be indicated to accompany speech therapy.

When should you go to the doctor?

Speech disorders do not always require a doctor. If stuttering occurs due to inner excitement, a stressful experience or a hectic situation, it is a temporary phenomenon. As soon as normal speech flow is restored some time later, the person concerned does not need any further help. In principle, it should be ensured that calm is maintained in these situations. This is enough to achieve a long-term improvement.

If the stuttering persists in different situations or if it increases in scope and probability of occurrence, a doctor should be consulted. Unwanted repetition of syllables or choppy pronunciation should be discussed with a doctor. Regardless of whether the stuttering occurs only in certain environments or in the presence of individuals, the sufferer should receive adequate support. A doctor or therapist is needed to clarify the cause.

If psychological problems occur in addition to the abnormalities in speech, a doctor should be consulted. In the event of changes in behavior, sleep disorders, vegetative irregularities, headaches or changes in personality, it is necessary to clarify the symptoms. Social isolation or withdrawal from participation in social life are warning signs that should not be ignored.

Treatment & Therapy

In treating stuttering, it is essential to first identify the cause, because an intellectually retarded child requires very different treatment than a neurotic one. In general, one should approach the stuttering child with calm and trust and not pay too much attention to the speech disorder, because the more attention one pays to it, the more insecure the children become and the more the symptom appears.

Not looking at a stutterer’s mouth in a conversation is well known. Then the stutterer usually speaks more freely and freely. It is striking that stuttering hardly ever occurs when reading, and never when singing. These facts have also been used in the treatment.

Furthermore, through targeted speech treatment, which is usually carried out by speech pedagogues and also in speech therapy schools, speech technique can be significantly improved or normalized. Depending on the age group, if possible as early as possible, one can switch on more specific psychotherapeutic measures. So-called autogenic training can be used as early as school children, which is primarily used for relaxation but also for concentrating on the functional process of individual organs and organ systems.

Hypnosis hasn’t worked. Appropriate medication can be used to calm down and thus increase the physical and mental capacity of the stuttering person, which has a positive effect on treatment. However, medicines only serve as supportive therapy. There is no drug that eliminates stuttering.

The attitude of educators and teachers is very important, especially when it comes to children who stutter, the causes of which are related to environmental disturbances. Beatings, scolding, prohibitions and similar drastic so-called educational measures aggravate the symptom of stuttering and lead to further childish malpositions. The friendlier, calmer, more relaxed the tone, combined with measures that increase self-confidence, the more favorable this is for the overall personality of the stuttering child.


Nowadays, stuttering can often be brought to a complete standstill with modern methods of speech therapy or reduced to such an extent that those affected no longer feel the strain of suffering. The success of the treatment can largely depend on what the causes and triggers of the stuttering were. Situational, suddenly occurring stuttering, for example, often occurs in child development and then disappears again very suddenly.

Special aftercare is not required here. Long phases of stuttering with unclear triggers or those related to psychological causes usually require longer therapy. Among other things, those affected learn new language techniques and methods that are intended to help them to overcome their stuttering and to consciously pay attention to their way of speaking.

Follow-up appointments can be useful to review and refresh the effectiveness of what has been learned. Many of those affected need follow-up appointments for stuttering in order to get regular feedback and stabilization, especially in the case of psychological causes. If learned speaking techniques are not used correctly or consistently, the stuttering can come back. The follow-up care then also serves to avoid this problem and to practice speaking correctly again and again even after the acute treatment of the stuttering.

You can do that yourself

Stutterers should be open about their condition. Social exclusion or shame is often the main trigger for stuttering attacks. People who stutter may announce their ailments when they come into contact with unfamiliar people. With the appropriate relaxation, dealing with the disease is much easier and the stuttering often decreases as well.

Aids such as so-called auditory feedback devices improve the flow of speech by analyzing and correcting it. It is also helpful to have a friend or caregiver point out the stuttering to the patient and practice the correct way of speaking with them. Because stuttering often occurs as a result of nervousness, stutterers must be met with patience and understanding. Stuttering takes months and years to be treated before it goes away completely. In some patients, the neurological disorder persists for a lifetime. However, training and using the right speech technique as well as dealing openly with the disease are important factors in dealing with stuttering.

Those affected who feel restricted by their condition should consult a speech therapist and, if necessary, contact a self-help group.